Travellers are all for buying a holiday or trip abroad on their mobiles – but something is stopping them from going through with the transaction.
New research from Criteo shows how almost a quarter (24%) of UK consumers would make hotel bookings on their mobile, while 18% would book flights.
However, that's not translating into sales, with holidays currently sitting bottom of the list of what people are buying on mobiles – just 9% said they are using their smartphone to buy holidays, despite 25% of respondents using a portable device to browse packages.
To put that into perspective, 37% of consumers are browsing clothing on mobile, with 23% buying.
With 2.5 million UK consumers buying on their mobile phone every day, there is great incentive for travel brands to make themselves more appealing on a mobile device.
The popularity of mobile is driven by social connections, convenience, and greater emotional ties between brand and consumer.
The importance of social
Criteo's findings also made the case for having a strong social media presence – with heavy social media users found to be by far the biggest mobile shoppers in the UK.
More than a third (35%) of daily Facebook users have bought on mobile, compared to just 17% of non-Facebook users.
The biggest mobile buyers are heavy users of Snapchat (64% have bought on mobile) and Instagram (56%).
There was a clear connection between those who regularly use social media and those who make mobile purchases a daily occurrence – nearly one in five (19%) daily Snapchat users and 15% of daily Instagram and Pinterest users said they are buying on their smartphones every day
Consumers still buying at home
Despite smartphones giving consumers the ability to make online purchases from anywhere, the majority of mobile purchases are made at home in front of the TV (33% of respondents), or in bed at night (27%).
This might help explain why travel purchases are not being made as regularly as we like on mobile. Travellers aren't prepared to commit to a purchase when one eye is on the TV. Similarly, the impulse nature of purchasing at night doesn't apply to travel, with consumers sensibly waiting until the next day to part with a large sum of money.
It'd be unwise (unethical even) to suggest that travel brands should be thinking of finding a way of convincing consumers to purchase a holiday or book a hotel in the evening, when their minds are half switched off.
However, it might be an idea to remind consumers the next day of the holiday packages they were browsing the previous evening.
The survey also underlines the value in engaging with consumers on social media, with a view to turning them into website visitors.
First things first, though, you've got to make sure your mobile website is primed to encourage and facilitate consumers buy via their portable device. Otherwise, it will all be in vain.