The use of mobile devices for booking travel continues to rise, according to a Criteo study which concludes that companies must not sacrifice user experience for convenience.
Criteo’s Travel Insights Report found travel companies with mobile apps took 60% of bookings via mobile devices in Q4 2017, up from 41% in the same period a year earlier.
Online travel agents now take 45% of bookings on a smartphone or tablet, the commerce marketing firm found. Suppliers take around 16% of bookings via mobile devices.
The Criteo report analyses browsing and booking data from over 1,800 travel advertisers globally, looking at more than 3 billion bookings across desktop, mobile sites and applications in 59 countries.
It says the increase in mobile travel booking is being driven by travellers looking for last-minute deals and over-night stays. Searches on smartphones and bespoke travel booking apps now account for 89% of traffic for those last-minute bookings, it went on, adding that up to 80% of last-minute bookings are now made on mobile devices.
Conversion rates on apps were twice those on desktop and five times those on mobile web.
In terms of bookings on mobile devices, Europe – at 25% – is ahead of North American, at 22%, the report found.
“Travel companies are seeing more and more travel bookings coming from apps and smartphones,” said Pauline Lemaire, head of travel and classified, Criteo.
“The flexibility of these platforms means that shoppers can leave their booking to the very last minute. However, with travellers everywhere taking advantage of these different touch points, retailers need to ensure that convenience doesn’t come at the price of a great user experience. This means connecting all of those touch points across devices and enabling the shopper to book that last-minute getaway on the device of their preference.”