Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

19pc of tech-savvy European travelers book vacations via mobile: report

Tech-savvy European travelers are ignoring travel agents and instead using mobile and online sites to book their vacations, according to a new report from Tradedoubler Insight Unit.

The study looked at 2,500 tech-savvy travelers, defined as smartphone users who shop at least once a month online from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Poland. Among other results, the report showed that one in five of those tech-savvy travelers book their vacation via mobile.

“The big news is that one in five (19 percent) of consumers is now booking a holiday via their mobile phone,” said Dan Cohen, regional director at Tradedoubler, London.

“Not only does one in five now book a holiday via their mobile phone, this figure rises to 28 per cent amongst mobile-savvy 25-34 year olds,” he said.

Choose your own journey
The main finding of the study showed that among tech-savvy travelers who had taken a vacation in the last two years, 62 percent chose to put their own itinerary together as opposed to booking a package vacation or all-inclusive trip.

These travelers are turning to performance marketing sites on Web and mobile sites to ensure that they are getting the best deal. Performance marketing sites include price comparison, voucher codes, coupons, daily deals, group buying, loyalty, rewards and cashback sites.

According to the study, 45 percent of travelers turn to performance marketing sites for selecting a hotel, 44 percent for vacation destinations and 39 percent for airlines.

Even if travelers do not make their final purchase online, most look at price comparison sites to ensure that they are getting a good deal.

Seventy-three percent look at price comparison sites to make sure they are getting a good hotel deal, and 71 percent do the same for a flight.

The Tradedoubler report also found that 25-34 year olds were the most likely to book a vacation via mobile in the last year. Twenty-eight percent of this age group used mobile to book vacations in the last year.

Brands beware
Since travelers are turning more to performance marketing sites, brands must be aware of the shift and react accordingly.

In the past, hotels and airlines could depend on strong brands to ensure that travelers came to them first, but this study shows that brands can no longer take this traffic for granted.

Brands should also consider having a  presence on performance marketing sites to make sure that they are considered by consumers. Otherwise they may be overlooked by potential customers.

Brands may also need to think creatively to stand out, when just a name does not cut it anymore.

Hotels and airlines may want to consider taking mobile to the next level, by leveraging more sophisticated guest services (see story).

“Holidaymakers now have unprecedented levels of information and offers at their fingertips, and it’s driving a significant shift in how they research and book holidays,” Mr. Cohen said.

“Airlines, hotels and holiday operators without a presence on the right performance channels are going to lose out,” he said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York