By Bill Dinan and Monica Ho
xAd, a mobile-location based advertising network, and Telmetrics, a mobile call measurement provider, announced last week the travel results of the first UK Mobile Path-to-Purchase research study, conducted by Nielsen. The results show significant mobile travel purchase activity with half (47 percent) of UK mobile travel searchers making a purchase or reservation and nearly 1 out of 3 doing so on their mobile devices. While 62 percent of mobile travel searchers use the PC to supplement their online research, 28 percent use their mobile devices exclusively for a mix of research and purchase activity.
Price plays key role in UK travel mobile path-to-purchase
With the economy putting pressure on Britons’ cherished travel and holiday plans, pricing is top of mind. In fact, when researching travel on their mobile devices, 70 percent of UK mobile searchers reported that price comparisons are their top mobile travel activity. Deals were important to 26 percent of mobile travel searchers and 1 out of 4 made a purchase because the price was right. In addition to pricing, other popular mobile travel search activities include reviews (49 percent) and location look ups (31 percent) for smartphone searchers and reviews (57 percent) and booking reservations (38 percent) for tablet users.
As marketers try to take advantage of the coming summer holiday exodus, it is important to remember the role mobile plays in Britons’ travel planning – many UK mobile consumers are researching and booking travel reservations on their mobile devices. With price comparisons being the top mobile travel activity, brand marketers must ensure their mobile sites/apps include easy to navigate pricing tools and features to aid in consumers’ purchase decisions.
UK mobile travel users research thoroughly prior to purchase
According to the study, UK mobile travel searchers take their time to conduct research before making a purchase. More than half (55 percent) of travel searchers reported that they were conducting research for a planned purchase with the most mobile travel searches conducted for flights (81 percent) and hotels (67 percent). Both search activities skewed higher on tablets, and were followed by train journeys (45 percent), which skewed higher on smartphones.
More mobile travel research was conducted at home than in other categories with 83 percent of tablet searches and 46 percent of smartphone searches conducted at home. To help marketers understand the UK travel searchers’ mobile needs, UK travel searchers ranked Optimized Mobile Sites as the most important feature for travel searches (37 percent); followed by Reviews (24 percent) and Top Results Listings (11 percent).
More and more mobile travel users are starting to use their devices exclusively in their research and shopping process, so marketers need to ensure they are providing mobile optimized site and app options so research and advertising information is easier to consume. In addition, utilizing separate strategies for smartphone and tablet searchers is key to satisfying mobile consumers’ unique device-related needs.
Travel category has strong purchase activity with tablet searchers more likely to convert
The study showed that while nearly half of UK mobile travel consumers are ultimately making a purchase, tablet searchers are more likely to convert – 53 percent of tablet searchers report making a purchase compared to 41 percent of smartphone searchers. Similarly, while 31 percent of UK travel searchers book reservations on their mobile devices, tablet users are more likely to do so – 38 percent of tablet searchers compared to 23 percent of smartphone searchers. Brand preference and price were the top two reasons mobile travel searchers made a purchase with one-third of travel searchers reporting they already had a specific brand/option in mind. Overall, mobile travel searchers have a longer path to purchase than other categories – likely because of the financial commitment. While 31 percent plan to purchase within the day, the majority (60 percent) plan to purchase within a month or longer.
About the Study
The xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study is the first to not only measure what consumers report they are doing via mobile devices, but also capture their actual preferences and behaviors, and includes specific market findings for the Travel, Restaurant and Auto categories. In February 2013, Nielsen conducted an online survey of more than 1,500 UK smartphone and tablet users who reported that they had engaged in a Restaurant-, Travel- or Automotive-related mobile activity in the past 30 days.
This information was then combined with data from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 6,000 Apple and Android users to help identify the mobile consumer journey and highlight the core points of mobile engagement. The UK study is a complement to the xAd-Telmetrics U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study, which was first conducted in 2012. More details, as well as a full report on the UK findings, are available via www.mobilepathtopurchase.com.
About the authors
Bill Dinan is president of Telmetrics, and Monica Ho, vice president of marketing at xAd, Inc.
About Telmetrics, Inc.
For more than 20 years, Telmetrics has been the call measurement industry leader. Telmetrics’ call tracking solutions, which are available in North America and across Europe, track the lead generation quality of local search advertising and pay per call programs for the leading brands in local search. This includes both publishers and agencies that serve millions of SMBs and national franchise locations across North America and Europe. With greater visibility into advertising performance across all media channels—digital, mobile, print and more—media publishers, agencies and advertisers can optimize the media mix for higher quality lead generation, resulting in increased revenues and a more complete picture of ROI across converging media. For more information, visit Telmetrics.com.
Since 2009, xAd has grown to become one of the largest mobile-location based advertising networks in the U.S. and the only one offering the ability to target mobile audiences using a combination of location signal and search context, leading to performance that is 3 to 5 times above the industry average. Across its network, xAd aggregates and manages the largest network of location verified mobile inventory in the industry, resulting in billions of location-specific ad impressions per month and over one million national and local advertisers. xAd is based in New York City with several satellite offices across the U.S. and internationally. For more information, visit xAd.com.