Nucleus reports latest mobile browsing and booking trends in the travel industry

29 July 2014
  • Mobile rises to 43% of all website traffic in June 2014
  • Luxury sites outpace mainstream – top site sees 55.4% mobile share
  • Smartphone browsing growing faster than tablets
  • Smartphone bookings grow 198% y-o-y, compared to PC’s +15% and tablets +17% 
  • Apple retains dominant position with 77.9% OS share and 87.8% of bookings

Accelerated growth in smartphone use suggests significant shifts in user behaviour are underway with consumers not only comfortable to browse travel websites on a small screen, but also increasingly comfortable to book with them. Conversion rates for tablets and smartphones still lag PCs’, but booking values on smartphones, in particular, suggest a bright future for m-commerce.

Apple retains its dominant position in web browsing and has established an even greater lead in m-commerce with 87.8% of the market. However, with iPad sales slowing, iPhone is the Apple device now leading the way. At the same time, Android continues to nibble into Apple’s lead, but still only accounts for 19.6% of mobile OS, up from 16.5% in January.

Other operating systems’ share erodes further, with BlackBerry and Microsoft now bit players, offering questionable ROI for smaller brands optimising their sites for these devices.

Brands that have invested in responsive design or smartphone-friendly websites and booking flows are reaping the rewards. M-commerce has grown 42% in the past year with average booking values for smartphones now attractive and growing much faster: 198% growth for smartphones, up 17% for tablets with PC bookings trailing with 15% growth.

Peter Matthews Nucleus Founder & CEO commented “We are in our fourth year of studying the growth in mobile web browsing and are seeing further significant shifts in user behaviour with affluent smartphone users, in particular, now completing high value bookings on their phones. Wider availability of 4G and the launch in September of the larger screen iPhone 6 are likely to accelerate this trend.”

He continued “It’s surprising in this context that there are still so many travel brands without either a mobile-friendly website or app and fewer still taking advantage of the flexibility and efficiencies of responsive design. This prolonged inactivity is beginning to look like a death wish.”