What We're Reading: Recent Mobile Travel Trends

November 17, 2014

If you follow Usablenet on Twitter (if not, you can here: @Usablenet), you'll have seen that we've been sharing mobile insights and statistics on the travel industry as the holiday season quickly approaches. Today, we wanted to flesh a few of those ideas out with some additional analysis.

We'll start by pointing out a strong statistic from a recent Expedia survey, which found that 78% of business travelers use smartphones for travel planning. Even more salient was the statistic that 28% of employed adults used a smartphone or tablet to make a hotel booking. And, perhaps even more surprising, more than 1 out of 5 travelers booked a hotel on mobile - after arriving at their destination without a room!

This is a telling sign of a huge ongoing shift in consumer mobile behavior. Gone are the days of booking months in advance, or showing up without a room and going door to door. Consumers are becoming more and more confident that they can book a trip on the fly - but are you? That is to say, are you confident that your mobile experience (app/website) is optimized for this type of quick, last-minute booking?

In our own UX Design research, we've found that the first 30 seconds on mobile are critical. Will consumers quickly understand what they need to do accomplish their goal? Are all calls-to-action prominent and mobile friendly? Will consumers immediately be discouraged by long load times? Is there a prominent geolocation feature to ease browsing? To be prepared for the upcoming travel season, you must take a look at your mobile experience and ask yourself these questions. Everyone wants to get home for Thanksgiving and Christmas - or away to somewhere without the snow! Will you be their choice for getting there?


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