What does the 'digital detox' trend mean for travel brands?

Last week's findings that millions of people in the UK have taken a "digital detox" arguably made making the most of the technology available to you even more important.

Ofcom's study revealed that 34% of internet users having taken a period of up to a month away from the web.

It seems that many Brits are concerned they are spending too much time online and not enough time in the 'real world' and are taking drastic measures to redress the balance.

The onus is on brands, then, to reduce the time their customers have to spend browsing their website and navigating the booking process. Technology is your friend.

The key findings

The research, conducted as part of Ofcom's annual Communications Market Report, revealed that 59% consider themselves hooked on their devices, with a third saying they found it difficult to disconnect.

Of the 2,025 adults and 500 teenagers questioned, half said they spent longer online than originally intended each day.

A typical adult spends an average of 25 hours online per week, with nearly half (42%) saying they go online or check apps more than ten times a day, according to the research.

For a third of people, spending that long online is proving too much and they have sought a period of time offline.

A quarter (25%) of those who said they had self-enforced a "digital detox" said they had done it for between half a day and a full day, while two in ten had done so for up to a week. Some even said they took a break of longer than a week from the online world.

What does this digital detox trend mean for travel brands?

For travel brands specifically, we firmly believe that your first reaction to the news that more and more people are taking prolonged breaks from the Internet should be to ensure you're doing all you can to give your customers a positive online experience.

A positive online experience is ultimately a fast one, regardless of whether they are browsing on a mobile device or a desktop computer.

It's nice to think that users want to spend a little while browsing our website to see what it is all we're all about, but realistically they don't – they want to get what they're looking for, or achieve what they set out to achieve and move on.

That's why it's estimated that slow-loading websites cost retailers £1.73bn in lost sales each year, as per research by QuBit.

If loading times are slow, or the booking experience is less than seamless, or if the mobile experience is poor, consumers will take their custom elsewhere. After all, they already feel like they're spending too much time online, without your website causing them to spend even longer staring at their smartphone.

To hear more about our travel technology solutions – which we promise will make you a hit with your customers – please don't hesitate to get in touch.