Using mobile devices for web access is becoming increasingly widespread with numerous implications across industries. This trend is especially relevant for the online travel industry in light of research from Nucleus, which found that 35% of all visits to travel websites came from mobile devices in October 2013, up from 27% at the start of last year.
While the travel trade is showing good signs of mobile website uptake (48% of the top 50 UK travel brands now have mobile friendly sites), it may not be happening fast enough. For instance a recent study by Sale Cycle found that the online travel industry suffers from the highest rate of abandonment, at 80.3% for the three months to September last year, compared to 69.8% for the fashion industry and 72.4% for retail.
Since more and more often online shoppers start their purchase on one device and complete it on another, the figures could suggest that users may be frustrated with a user experience that isn’t multi-device friendly and abandon their purchase.
“Having a website that is optimised for all connected devices currently in use will increase the chances of conversion”, said Ian Carrington, Google's director of performance for Northern and Central Europe, during his keynote speech at the SES conference in London last week. Search engines are a major factor to be reckoned with, and they’re already implementing changes aimed to improve the experience of mobile device users. Google, for one, is using a three-step strategy when it offers query results to users and its key elements are availability, relevance and optimisation.
The first refers to websites making it possible for users to make an order on one device and complete it on another, which is why it is so important to have cross-device capabilities especially in the online travel industry, where orders involve larger amounts of money compared to other industries. It also takes longer for a prospective customer to arrive at an order, with the chances of an impulsive buy smaller than for other industries such as retail and fashion.
With search engines embracing mobile and device usage ever increasing, isn’t it time you considered going mobile? Talk to us today and discover how we can help increase your conversions.