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Hitwise reveals 60% of travel searches begin on mobile

Research released by Hitwise, a division of Connexity, reveals how important mobile devices are for travellers during the early planning stages of a trip. Research based on the online activity of 3 million UK shoppers, and 1 million mobile devices, reveals 60 per cent of all travel site searches originate from a mobile device.

The Hitwise research found that Brits are increasingly turning to their mobiles to kick off holiday plans, with 83 per cent of searches for the ‘best time’ to visit a holiday location initiated on a mobile device.

Logistical arrangements are also mobile-lead with 68 per cent of searches for ‘flights from’ and 83 per cent of searches for ‘flight status’ also made via a mobile device.Once a trip has begun, mobile is also the device of choice for travellers, with 86 per cent of searches for ‘places to eat’ and 76 per cent of searches for ‘things to do’ made on the go. Searches for ‘near me’ dominate, generated by 88 per cent of mobile searches.

Mobile searches also seem to be the device of choice for wealthier Brits, with more than 80 per cent of searches for ‘5 star’, ‘luxury’ and ‘glamping’ initiated on a smartphone or tablet.

Nigel Wilson, Managing Director at Hitwise, explained the importance of understanding how consumers rely on their mobile devices throughout the holiday process: “The Hitwise data shows a clear preference for holiday-related mobile searches, particularly from would-be travellers planning their trips, really highlighting for brands and advertisers the important role mobile plays in the travel sector.

Recently, Virgin announced its soon to launch mobile app, simplifying the booking process and providing pre-filled customer preferences to make the consumer journey seamless. Whilst hotel booking sites, such as Expedia, have been on the mobile booking case for a long time, the airline industry has been slow to adopt mobile flight booking. Marketers in this space need to understand how their audiences are utilising mobile to access information so that they can be everywhere the consumer wants, with the right experience desired. Rather than replicating experiences between desktop and mobile, it’s vital they create something different, engaging and attentive to the needs of that person at that time.”