An analysis of mobile travel bookings has underlined the rapid growth of business being done via handheld devices.
While mobile overall accounts for 23% of travel bookings globally, up from 12% last year, app bookings have risen sharply to account for 49% of mobile revenue for firms that are tracking advertising, up from just 12% a year ago.
A Criteo “Flash Report” into the travel mobile sector found a quarter of sales where the click is made on a mobile device are not being measured, that figure was 21% overall for clicks where the final transaction occurs on a different device to the original click.
Criteo’s country data reveals the UK is mid-table in the travel bookings league, with 22% of bookings on mobile, 9% on smartphone and 13% on tablet.
Japan and the US tops the table with 30% mobile bookings, with Sweden, Canada and Denmark making up the top five on 28%, 26% and 25% respectively.
Adoption of mobile for booking differs markedly between travel sectors, with apartment rentals leading the way on 31% followed by hotels (28%), car (25%) and packages (19%), surprisingly ahead of single component sales for air (17%) and rail (15%). Car rental is the fastest growing of the six sectors.
The Criteo study found mobile booking values, while increasingly challenging desktop for share are not keeping pace. In the UK tablet bookings are 92% of the value of desktop and smartphone just 57%.Among the leading markets just Italy sees higher values on mobile, with tablet booking values 101% the value of desktop.
Smartphone bookings also follow a set pattern of usage throughout the week, with weekend use significantly higher (nine percentage points) and mornings favoured over afternoons.And the handheld device is also the favoured option for lastminute hotel stays with 47% of same day bookings made on smartphones.
Desktop bookings also are proportionately higher when the number of page views increases before a booking is made and the number of nights booked rises.
Criteo said the findings of the report have a number of implications for travel advertisers.
It claimed comprehensive cross-device tracking can account for 21% upflift in campaign bookings and advertisers that invest in in-app tracking and advertising generate almost half of bookings directly from applications.
Daniele Beccari, Travel Project Manager at Criteo, said: “We analysed more than one billion online travel bookings including OTAs, tour operators and airlines all around the world for this report and the stand out finding is that mobile is king.
“In the past year alone, the share of mobile bookings has nearly doubled and now represents 23 percent of total bookings worldwide. But not only are consumers booking on their mobile, they are using and converting on mobile apps, responding to in-app advertising and using their smart phones to arrange those last minute trips.”