48 Percent Of Smartphone Users Will Plan — And Book — An Entire Trip On Mobile

Brands need to be present to answer the questions travelers are asking via text and voice — and then equipped to carry them through the booking process.

Nearly half (48 percent) of all consumers say they are comfortable researching, booking, and planning an entire travel experience on a mobile device, according to new research from Google in partnership with PhocusWright — highlighting the fact that travel and hospitality marketers need to focus their attentions on both mobile responsivity and the voice/text searches customers are making on their smartphones.

Additionally, over 70 percent of U.S. travelers are “always” on their mobile devices when traveling, searching for directions, booking experiences near their hotel, and more.

Put simply, as customers book more travel experiences on mobile, it follows that they will engage with the brands that make it easiest for them to do so — and who interpret their needs seamlessly.

As such, “after a traveler clicks on your content — whether it’s an ad or on your site — the beyond-the-click experience matters,” Think With Google shared in a blog post. “Try matching the information you present to what travelers want. Anything travelers expect to accomplish online should be easy to accomplish on mobile devices.”

Winning Travelers On Mobile

As we’ve written previously, reaching consumers during the planning phase of any purchase means ranking highly in relevant search results in order to answer their queries made by text and voice. Doing this requires listing content on the brand’s website that answers the questions users are most likely to ask, in the way they’re most likely to phrase them.

For example, if a customer says “I need a pet-friendly hotel” in their search, it’s important that properties looking to appeal to this segment state explicitly in their copy that “[hotel name] is a pet-friendly hotel.”

Brands should also look towards a significant location-targeting opportunity that extends exists in hotel bookings all the way up to the day of check-in: Approximately 46 percent of travelers in the U.S. book their hotel stays on the day of travel, and a significant majority of them book these stays on mobile or following a mobile search or seeing a mobile ad.

Choice Hotel’s Joey Martin shared part of his brand’s strategy for capturing the attention of these travelers at 2017’s MMA Location Leadership Forum: “We [can] know someone we want to target is traveling because they’ve left their home zip code and they’re driving… then, we [can succeed by customizing] that mobile message not just based on where they are, but based on the time of day and the context.”

Essentially, there a significant opportunity for marketers to influence travelers’ plans on mobile — both by ranking in search results to answer their planning questions, and then by being present during the important micro-moments when they make day-of decisions. And the number of customers who choose to make their decisions on mobile? It’s only growing.

About The Author
Lauryn Chamberlain Lauryn Chamberlain @laurynchamberla

Lauryn Chamberlain is the Associate Editor of A New York City based journalist, she specializes in stories related to retail, dining, hospitality, and travel.