Nucleus research finds travel sites’ mobile traffic has doubled in a year

The proportion of browsing taking place in the mobile channel has more than doubled in the space of a year a third phase of research by digital agency Nucleus.

The Nucleus Mobile Web Browsing Survey – Wave 3, found mobile traffic in June for its sample of 10 UK and international travel websites hit 20.5%.

That figure was 10.2% in August 2011 in the first wave of research and 17.4% in January, the second wave. The sample sites comprise a user base of some 2.2 million unique visitors a month.

Half of the sample sites topped 20% of mobile traffic while the top site hit 26.55%

Nucleus found the rate of penetration of mobile has slowed since January 2012, but it was still up 17.8%.

This was down from 72% in the previous six months, but Nucleus said it believes to be a “pregnant pause” with the London Olympics expected to provide a further boost for the channel.

The imminent launch of the iPhone 5 is also expected to drive further growth and consolidate Apple’s clear market leadership.

iOS devices maintained recorded 84.9% market share in Nucleus’s third wave research, only marginally down from 85.6% in the second wave. iPad traffic was up 3.3%.

Nucleus said it “remains a puzzle why Android smartphones and tablet users don’t seem to have a higher penetration of website browsing, other than for price sensitive brands.”

Android’s share remained at 8%, down from 9.64% in wave one a year ago.

Blackberry continues to struggle, up from 1% in wave two to 1.9% in wave three although still down from the 2.64% in wave one.

Nucleus estimated luxury sites are on track to achieve 30% of traffic from mobile devices by the end of 2012.

“Providing mobile-friendly web browsing brand experiences is key, especially in the travel and ecommerce sectors, where online conversion is vital for business,” said Nucleus.

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