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TripAdvisor users 3x more likely to have other travel mobile apps: report

A report from Strategy Analytics revealed that users of TripAdvisor are three times more likely to have other travel mobile applications, such as those for airlines, downloaded on their mobile devices, suggesting that TripAdvisor is a gateway brand that other travel marketers can leverage to reach more engaged consumers.

The correlation between TripAdvisor app owners and other travel applications remains high, a piece of data that could have significant effect on the travel and hospitality industry, especially as the space grows increasingly tighter. Smaller marketers in the sector should consider teaming up with TripAdvisor or other related apps to leverage wider audiences and potentially gain new followers.

“The key takeaway is that finding ways to identify engaged mobile travelers is possible,” said Josh Martin, director of travel analytics at Strategy Analyics, Ashburn, VA. “Today, hoping/relying on OTAs, hotels or airlines to generate organic grassroots growth is difficult and the installed base for the aforementioned apps demonstrate as much.

“However, by finding highly correlated apps and using that as a starting point for segmentation could create useful insight into finding other interested and engaged mobile users,” he said. “Mobile is a very different place than the PC where it’s easier to rely on tools like retargeting, website reach data and more to try to find the right audience.

“On mobile as consumers rely more and more on apps – the resulting silo-ed information – makes it difficult to get a comprehensive view of users. However, as mobile becomes an ever larger portion of travel site visitation gaining space on the phone is an important tool to garner loyalty and win dollars.”

Difficulty for apps
Digital research panel AppOptix revealed that less than one percent of all mobile device sessions are affiliated with travel apps, which have an installed base of less than three percent. However, TripAdvisor is the exception to this conundrum.

The planning and booking platform has an installed base of more than 10 percent, and is also highly correlated to ownership of a plethora of other travel apps.

“Nearly all travel apps suffer from being utilities,” Mr. Martin said. “There is little need to use an airline app unless you are booking or checking in for a flight. The same for hotels or even OTAs.

“TripAdvisor sits in a completely different part of the planning cycle winning users that are in the dreaming stage rather than those that are already engaged,” he said.

“This is important because it appeals to users that want to idly pass time with their phones and apps but it also presents a branding opportunity for hotels/airlines/OTAs around why a destination is not only great but getting there with their particular airline or staying at their hotel could make the experience even better.”

Top channel to tap
The research also shows that many of TripAdvisor’s consumers do not own other airline or hotel apps, providing an untapped opportunity for travel marketers to target these users and drive conversions.

The travel sector is growing much more technology-savvy in 2015, with the widespread adoption of mobile room keys and airline apps integrating with mobile payment systems. Therefore, marketers should be aiming to reach the largest audience possible on mobile to showcase their products or services.

“Better app promotion is essential,” Mr. Martin said. “Companies need to remind customers throughout the booking process that they have an app and it offers wonderful features that they should take advantage of.

“This is the first and primary step,” he said. “Secondarily, a company like TripAdvisor could become a natural endpoint for discussing apps as a part of the travel experience.

“Working with an independent third party to raise awareness that travel technology is valuable and could be a differentiator is a way for TripAdvisor to further engage users while creating a new channel for revenue.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York