Disruption in mobile computing is happening at a breakneck pace, and it has completely altered the way consumers shop for, book, share and experience travel today. Smartphone penetration has surpassed 90% among U.S. adults in the 9 short years since the launch of the first iPhone. When it comes to travel, more and more travelers are planning and booking from their smartphones, particularly millennials.
The latest Leisure Traveler Study from Google and Phocuswright shows that millennials are leading the way in mobile travel shopping and buying.
Travel Shopping on Smartphones
Millennials are more likely to shop for flights and hotels using their smartphone device than people over the age of 35.
- 41% of millennial travelers say they’ve used a smartphone to shop for flights, while only 25% of people over 35 years old said the same.
- 27% of millennial travelers say they’ve used a smartphone to shop for hotels, while only 19% of people over 35 years old said the same.
Source: Google/Phocuswright Leisure Traveler Study 2016
More Trust in Mobile Content
Millennials are more confident that they’ll find the same travel information on both their smartphone and desktop than people over 35.
- 66% of millennial travelers are confident they can find the same flight and hotel information whether searching on a mobile device or a desktop computer.
- Only 43% of travelers over the age of 35 are confident they can find the same flight and hotel information whether searching on a mobile device or a desktop computer.
Mobile Travel Planning
Millennials are comfortable planning and booking their entire trip on a smartphone. They also often purchase on a smartphone after shopping on the same device.
- About 2/3 of younger travelers are comfortable planning an entire trip on a smartphone compared to about 1/3 of travelers 35 and older.
- 59% of millennial travelers say they typically purchase a flight on a smartphone after shopping on one, while 44% of those who are 35 and older say the same.
- 64% of millennial travelers say they typically book a hotel room on a smartphone after shopping on one, while only 42% of those over 35 say the same.
It's a Multi-Device World
It’s true that it’s more important than ever to be mobile-friendly, but don’t forget: it’s still a multi-device world. Skift’s 2016 In-Destination Traveler Behavior Studyasked travelers about their shopping and booking preferences, and surprisingly many travel consumers still prefer a desktop or laptop for shopping and booking travel. Not surprisingly, when they are in destination, they’re more likely to use their smartphone to research and plan their activities.
As travel marketers, we need to connect with our consumers on multiple devices and customize content across different channels to support different points in the customer journey. Consider your customer journey from both the desktop and smartphone perspective. How is the user experience today? How can you better serve the user according to their stage in the traveler’s journey? How can your site content be more useful and relevant for the specific micro-moment?