Travel Trends for Mobile Marketers: 5 Stats That Show the ROI of a Mobile-First Approach

The travel industry has been and continues to be transformed by mobile. So how’s your brand doing in the mobile-first world?

If there’s room for improvement — or if you're behind the curve — consider the following stats. The numbers clearly demonstrate the potential for massive ROI for travel companies who stay ahead of consumer expectations — and keep innovating on mobile.

1) 40% of travel sales will come from mobile in 2017, increasing to 50% by 2021.

As smartphone screens grow larger, mobile forms and payment get easier, and people are spending more time on mobile overall, consumers are booking more travel on mobile. eMarketer estimates a steady increase in mobile travel sales — 40% in 2017 and a prediction of mobile travel sales increasing to 50% by 2021.

Our Take 

Is your app — and your messaging and engagement strategy — structured to support fast, frictionless conversions? Have you thought through the customer journey, and provided conversion points all along the way? Customer expectations around ease of use on travel apps — which can be complex in terms of data entry (all those dates and traveler names to deal with) — are skyrocketing. Make sure your app and mobile website make it unbelievably easy for customers to convert.

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2) 88% of leisure travelers will switch to a different app or website if yours isn’t meeting their needs.

That stat (via Google research) stings a bit. But it’s not shocking. If you’re not delivering a seamless experience in your app and mobile web, travelers won’t keep fighting through your UX. They’ll just take their business elsewhere.

Our Take

If you’ve got friction in your app — especially in the buying process — fix it. Look at your mobile analytics and do user testing pinpoint where users are getting stuck, and smooth out the UX. For some brands this may mean re-engineering the entire customer experience on mobile.

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3) More than 50% of travelers don’t have a set destination in mind when planning a trip — and 60% will search their next trip from a mobile device.

Travelers are looking for inspiration. More than half are browsing around, looking for their next adventure — and 60% of them are browsing on a mobile device. Put these two stats together, and it’s clear that mobile is where travel brands need to be — with rich, inspirational, personalized, mobile-friendly messaging.

Our Take 

A lot of brands still aren’t taking full advantage of the image-rich capabilities of in-app messaging and rich push notifications. Use the data you have about your customers — where they’ve been in the past, their preferences, their location and more — to create visual messages that grabs their attention.

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4) 81% of travel shoppers will abandon their shopping carts online.

According to research from SalesCycle, travel shoppers tend to abandon their shopping carts more often than retail or other shoppers. The average rate for abandoned baskets across all industries is 77%, but for travel shoppers, it’s 81%.

Our Take

Whether abandoned carts are more common because of a travel shopper’s need to coordinate with other travelers, more intensive comparison shopping on more sites or other factors, mobile can help re-capture lost revenue from abandoned baskets with real-time, personalized, automated messages.

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5) 1 in 3 boarding passes will be delivered via mobile by 2019.

More than 1.5 billion airline boarding passes will be delivered worldwide via mobile phone by 2019 according to a study by Juniper Research. That’s part of an even bigger shift to delivering paperless passes and tickets on mobile in the native mobile wallet app.

Our Take

Mobile wallet can be a lifecycle customer engagement channel (see #7 in this blog post to see what Forrester has to say about brands missing the boat on the larger mobile wallet opportunity) — not just a way to deliver a ticket, coupon or pass.

That means it holds massive potential for travel brands who want to innovate — and expand their mobile footprint on customers’ phones. Our State of Mobile Wallet Marketing survey showed a major shift in consumer expectations for using mobile wallet for everything from boarding passes to event and attraction tickets to coupons and offers.

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Our strategy team has helped leading travel and hospitality brands build a mobile-first, customer-centric plan that boosts engagement and revenue. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation today to brainstorm ideas for your strategy — and the inside scoop on what your peers will be doing next on mobile.

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