Mobile is gaining momentum, making it essential for travel websites to be optimised across all devices. In January an impressive 38.4% of all travel website traffic came from mobile devices, according to the Mobile Web Browsing Survey conducted by brand consultancy Nucleus.
The company conducted the poll across 12 international and UK-based travel websites, examining the growth of mobile website browsing in the industry. The study found that mobile traffic increased by 42% on an annual basis and with this momentum it is on track to account for the majority of Internet traffic by early next year.
Among the operating systems most used by travel consumers, Apple remains the leader with an 81.7% share of all mobile visits. A breakdown of this figure shows that the iPad takes a 52.1% share, iPhone 29.3% and iPod just 0.3%. Google’s Android operating system grew significantly in January to 16.5%, largely at the expense of non-Apple operating systems such as BlackBerry and Windows.
The study revealed that luxury brands’ websites are the leaders when it comes to mobile traffic, with 43% of the top sites’ traffic coming from mobile devices. Those websites will enjoy the fruits of their early adoption this year. Also, websites with responsive web design are consistently seeing higher penetration.
More and more people nowadays are choosing to surf the Web via mobile devices, said Peter Matthews, founder and CEO of Nucleus. While travel companies have been adopting mobile-optimised websites slowly, those that have already implemented responsive web design to provide better user experience will undoubtedly reap the benefits, he added.
Looking at the availability of apps for mobile users, over half, or 52%, of the top travel companies have a mobile app, according to a study conducted by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK last year. However, only 56% of those apps allow transactions via the app, which means that customers are unable to place an order from the app itself.
The IAB study, which polled the top 50 travel firms that spend the most on advertising in Britain to measure their uptake of the mobile channel, also revealed that one-third of travel websites (32%) do not have a mobile presence.
These results are striking because the IAB’s RealView research found that the average individual uses some form of Internet-connected device 34 times daily. The implication is clear: if your site is not mobile friendly you risk missing out on a huge chunk of business.