OperaMedia surveyed 1,000 mobile users in the U.S. across our mobile ad platform to find out. They found that Travel Research and Booking go Mobile as more Americans are using mobile to research and book travel. Here is the infographic of what else they found :Source: Mobile is #1 for travel research and booking [Infographic] |
Opera sees “mobile users shifting to spending more time in app vs. mobile web,” which is interesting as just a few months ago similar studies showed the opposite, with more travelers using mobile web to plan and book travel. At the same time we saw the Mobile apps replacing the web for many options. One needs to understand the data deeply. The apps are not what travelers look at for individual hotels- they look at 20 to 30 sites and are not going t download and app for every site.
Apps are great for comparing option and getting other services. The main apps i see travelers using are apps from OTAs like bookings.com etc. That makes sense as one app shows them pretty well all the hotels they might like, but many travelers still look at the hotel websites before they book. To compete in this landscape hotel need to beef up their direct booking benefits.
Opera sees more happening with apps in the future as they say what makes sense for hotels is Perhaps a mobile concierge app.”
“Similar to a real concierge, this hypothetical app would key into the traveler’s location, food preferences, interests, hobbies and more – essentially becoming the “one-stop shop” for all mobile travel activities. The app would provide suggestions for dining, entertainment and lodging, among other things. This could provide opportunities for other apps, such as Uber for example, to place an ad: “It’s almost time for dinner! Need an Uber?”
For more on how to boost direct booking on your website see
Googles Destination Planner for Mobile Pushed Out Search
Not only is traditional search irrelevant – it almost impossible to find it as Google replaces mobile search with its own travel guides and sales funnels. They are making search obsolete on mobile and that it probably a forerunner of what will happen on the NET. Its part of Google strategy to diminish organic search which they struggle to keep out of the control of blackhat SEO experts. So Google Mobile Travel Web Replacing Search Results is a step in the right direction.
SEO marketers take note. this may be the beginning of the very end for search engine marketing and SEO. In its place will be Googles own travel portal, in many guises and variants, from hotel finderto maps to online guide and booking options, they will have your clients covered. As author of the article Barry Swartz says “Don’t get me wrong; this is an incredibly nice user experience for those looking to travel. But those optimizing for travel search might not like the new mobile experience.”
Is it an App
No its not an app, but as we said before the new web technologies are replace a lot of the functionality of apps. So in some sense you can say that Apps are now moving to the web. And that does make sense, not many travelers want to download an app for every hotel the consider for a vacation, and very few do.But all this just adds to the demise of search as we know it. It become more irrelevant as Google and technology replaces it.
What does it Mean for Hotels
The roll-out has not effected hotel listing directly at this point. If you search for where to stay in Barbados on an iphone you will see a conventional search result. But if you search for where to go in Barbados you will see the new destination guide. That is all encompassing – It starts out looking at regions and as you select one (say Bridgetown) you will see a description which looks like it may come from Wikipedia. Under that is “Top sights”. Again with wiki-like descriptions. Under that is “Plan a Trip” with option for flights, hotels and restaurants and “When to visit- showing main events by month”.
The hotel option links you to 3 star hotel – It eventually leads to search result-like page with bookings by Booking.com etc. Interestingly the listing of hotel does not appear to be an OTA listing although they link to ota to fulfill the book at this time. The key takeaway is that you need to optimize your pages now specifically for google so that you are listed in their mobile search.. We will go into this in more detail later.
Ultimately we expect Google will bring the full travel mobile world to hotel searches to. Like the destination mobile guide, search may still be an option but way down the page and likely to get ignored.
Optimize for Google
So get ready to be in googles new mobile Hotel Search. Step one optimize your site for mobile – and for Google. Be on their maps, have your google Page, a Google PLUS account, optimize your YouTUbe account, and use social accounts to point to your Google properties. Make the most of your reviews and make sure you share to Google – Use video reviews and engaging graphics to make the reviews stand out and get read.
It really is not rocket science and it does not take much effort to understand that travelers are not going to download an app for every hotel they consider or check out during the planning stage. They look at 20 differed sites on average and will consider a dozen places to stay. The just are not going to download and app to check availability and rates when they can just look at the website.
Mobile Web Prefered over Apps for Booking
The study by Miller Brown, referred to in the Tnooz article above demonstrates that Mobile web beats apps for hotel bookings. In the study only 15% of all who booked a hotel in the study period used their smartphone to book and most booked via mobile browsing. 43% said they preferred to browse to book, 28% were split between apps and browsing and 28% preferred to use an app.
Its not clear how they booked and my guess is that most were using OTAs or hooked into a chain with loyalty points. If they book direct common sense will tell us that they will browse the hotel website and check out rates online via the browser. The Study also tells us that while over 30% of the travelers studied had over 30 apps, they only used about 4 a day.
Apps for Loyalty and Recurring Booking
“One of the things we found is that in travel, and in general, app install and usage is one measure of loyalty or brand engagement. You’ve (essentially) committed to the brand.” Says Lincoln Merrihew SVP of Miller Brown, and adds: “In general, older consumers tend to be more brand-committed than younger ones.”
Apps are used mostly for services like fast check out, billing, room key, loyalty programs, concierge and room services and to control the room TV, temperature order services and get offers. For online information, reservations and booking your provider should offer a mobile version; that’s all you need. If you have a custom built booking engine make sure it is mobile responsive. All this may change and likely will but for now mobile browsing is not overpowered by apps. I think apps have to offer much more for all to want to download them for every hotel we want to check. Cant see it happening any time soon.
eMarketers Forcast Mobile Booking Surpass Desktop in 2016
What there is no doubt about is the growing use of mobile in travel planning and booking. According to eMarketer 51.8% of travelers who book trips online will do so using a mobile device. That is up 43.8% from the 2015 estimates. They add that “In 2015, travel sales booked via PCs will be $115.91 billion—a decline of 1.8% from 2014. That decline will continue through at least 2019, the end of eMarketer’s forecast period.” – See more at: http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1013248#sthash.9VxWmZ8H.dpuf –
Travel sales booked via mobile are $52.08 billion this year (November 2015) representing 31.0% of digital travel sales. Booking via mobile is expected to reach to 46.0% by 2019.
Not at all surprising, at the Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia (Barbados.org) the bulk of site visits are now from travelers using a mobile device.
A recent Phocuswright study has shown that the use of apps by the study group of travellers was “light” (study of the mobile use of 1,000 European travellers).
Berlin, Gasdia of phocusright described the idea that apps are taking over the internet as “an illusion.” “The mobile web is thriving. Travellers may be spending a lot of time on apps, but not for travel.”
According to the study apps account for just 1% of the time travel consumers spent on mobile and far more time is spent on mobile web browsing. As the average traveller only takes two or three trips a year and will typically look at several hotels and up to 20 site in all while planning a trip. “There is not much incentive to download five to ten apps and keep them updated.”
“13% used a TripAdvisor app but 18% visited via the mobile web. Only 38% of TripAdvisor mobile visitors were app only. 11% used apps of an online travel agency (OTA) but 19% visited the same OTAs via the mobile web.
– See more at: http://www.travolution.co.uk/Articles/2015/03/05/11800/itb+2015+travel+apps+fail+to+grab+mobile+users+research.html#sthash.vqUUBFxe.dpuf
More about Travel apps.. see mobile travel report –
David Tossel has taken a close look at how hotels are loosing control of the guest experience, because of the new digital concierge and service finding apps. He names Foursuare, Google + Local, Open Table, Yelp and Uber as prime examples of this breed of apps. He concludes that the list is too long to mention but goes on to mention several more anyway:”There are dozens upon dozens of apps that also compete for revenue from hotels, and, just as many startups also looking to take a bite out of hotels’ revenue.” Those he writes about include:
Fandango – Where – AroundMe – Urban Spoon -TripCase –
Apps are not new but they are getting to be more mainstream and concierge as travelers get used to doing it themselves with the aids of these apps, the role of the hotel front desk and concierge will continue to decline. Hotel in room services and om site facilities also will decline as these apps do not currently have in-house services like restaurants, spas etc listed.
It’s a problem in the making and one that most hoteliers are not fully aware of. It a good time for hospitality companies to start to lobby to get their own services listed and reviewed on the new travel related apps.
Clearly there is revenue lost and that revenue has likely been declining as long as Foursquare, Urban Spoon, Yelp, and similar apps have been around. Yes, it is quite difficult to quantify the amount of lost revenue as a result of these apps. Left unchecked, you can expect the total dollar of revenue only to increase – unless you take action with a strategy of your own.
Most smartphone users download zero apps per month – Quartz.
Looks like most users already have the apps they want and don’t need any more. Also it just is’nt that easy to find apps apps. Apple’s App Store is rightly criticized terrible navigation and search in the app store. Most users says the report “relying on the top 25 lists, a bad search engine, and few editorial features”.
Well they still use their smartphones to search the web.
Read the article for all the details http://qz.com/253618/most-smartphone-users-download-zero-apps-per-month/