Nucleus study suggests mobile growth in travel set to accelerate

Mobile browsing is expected to accelerate its growth rate and overtake PC browsing before the end of next year, according to UK marketing and design agency Nucleus.

The firm has published the fifth wave of its mobile web browsing survey based on a sample f 11 travel websites representing 1.3 million unique visitors for the month of June.

This found ‘mBrowsing’ now accounts for a just under a third of all website traffic and has seen a 56% year on year increase.

Peter Matthews Nucleus founder and chief executive, said with the expected launch of a series of new products from Apple and Android-based devices imminent mobile growth is set to accelerate.

“The data suggests there is going to be another step change in the next wave – on the current growth path mobile is going to overtake all other devices including PCs by the end of 2014.

“But we think it’s going to accelerate and there is a fair chance it might become the majority some time before the end of 2014.

“Already, according to Comscore, at certain times of the day mobile devices are more popular than PCs. Is the tipping point going to approach faster.”

Matthews expects product launches like the iPhone 5s, the iOS7 operating system, a new Safari mobile browser, the iWatch, retina iPad Mini, the roll out of 4G and new Galaxy tabs from Samsung will all spur further growth this year.

And he said websites that have deployed responsive design are best placed to take advantage of this trend.

“If you have a responsive website targeting mobile users pay per click advertising becomes incredibly effective. You are not competing against so many people, you can have a phone number embedded and you can track conversions,” said Matthews.

One example of a hotel embracing mobile saw it shift $156,000 worth of room night for midweek in just one week.

“There are some compelling stories and people are getting better at marketing and converting from mobile,” added Matthews.

Nucleus’ report continued to find that Apple continues to dominate ‘mBrowsing’ activity and that iPhone growth has started to outstrip the iPad, reversing a trend seen in previous waves.

Android’s share of mobile browsing remains low in comparison to the apparent popularity of devices using the system. Apple’s iOS had an 84% share.

Matthews said there were a number of reasons for this including inferior browsers and user experience, Android users tend to spend more time on apps and social media and socio-economic with Android devices tending to be aimed at the cheaper end of the market.

Luxury websites appear to be drawing a disproportionate amount of mobile traffic with the site in the Nucleus with the most on 42.6%.

“Luxury brands have to get their acts together and offer great mobile brand experiences,” said Matthews.

The full Nucleus Mobile web Browsing Survey, Wave 5 report can be downloaded now for free from the firm’s website.

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