Travel companies losing out because of poor mobile experience

We all know the importance of mobile in today's always-connected consumer world. But did you know that a staggering two in five mobile shoppers have abandoned a travel booking on their mobile as a direct result of poor user experience?

The research comes from a US-based study by Jumio, reports Tnooz, which has predicted that – in the UK alone – around £2.7 billion was lost last year to travel companies after users became fed up with their mobile experience. Some 38% were said to abandon their cart, a figure that stands behind only the clothing (60%) and food shopping (41%) sectors.

While Jumio has commented that some companies have "heeded the warning" – over the past two years mobile abandonment rates have witnessed an improvement of 10% – there is still a lot of work to be done.

Marc Barach, Jumio's CMO, has said that the travel industry needs to "keep factors such as ease of use and security top of mind to maximize the number of users who complete their transaction moving forward."

The report also revealed that usability is one of the main problems consumers face, with one-third stating that mobile sites or apps took too long to load. Other features making the list of reasons for abandonment were navigation (26%), payment process (27%) and screen size (21%).

It seems that there is also a reliance on more "familiar" devices, Jumio discovered. According to the study, 27% of consumers said that they went on to complete their booking at a later date, with 22% attempting again on their mobile device.

Perhaps controversially, Jumio also claim that the men in their study have more patience with their mobile devices, with almost three-quarters completing their transaction another time, compared to 63% of women.

According to Euromonitor, more than 30% of online bookings will be made via a mobile device by 2017. Already, there has been a 50% uptake in mobile usage across leisure and business travellers, with three in ten people relying solely on their smartphone to make last minute reservations or bookings.

Econsultancy claims that "successful marketing to drive visitors to your website will be in vain if visitors have a bad user experience, causing a large proportion of these visitors to leave."

Mobile is only expected to grow and the travel businesses that will come out on top are those that future-proof their websites. Travel companies can't afford to neglect the user experience, especially when it comes to the booking and check-out processes.