Expedia claims 2014 marks turning point for multiple device use

Expedia claims 2014 marks turning point for multiple device use

This year was a turning point for consumers owning multiple mobile devices, according to Expedia.

The percentage of people who own both a smartphone and a tablet in Europe more doubled in 2013 to 48%.

But there was increasing frustration at needing to begin research again when logging into a new device.

Expedia launched Scratchpad to make cross platform searching easier for consumers. It automatically logs searches and updates the relevant pricing, whatever device the customer previously searched on.

This comes as Phocuswright predicts that almost 30% of travel will be booked on mobile in 2015, a year that will continue to illustrate the importance of mobile devices as true personal assistants throughout the whole travel experience.

Consumer dependence on mobile in travel is clear, as revealed by the Expedia Mobile Index.

Travellers globally say they would be equally concerned by the loss of our mobiles, compared to the rest of our luggage combined, it found.

Almost one in five travellers globally have checked into a hotel on their mobile for business purposes, with around 15% having done so for a leisure trip.

“This is a trend that we expect to become even more pronounced in 2015,” Expedia said.

Demand for connected, experience rich travel will see mobile devices further establish themselves as mobile concierges for travel in 2015.

Customer reviews will become an integral part of all aspects of travel booking – not just hotels. Expedia entered a partnership to integrate Routehappy data into its search results on Expedia.com in the US. Routehappy is a resource that allows customers to rate airlines on their ‘happiness factor’.

The way customers are engaging with the web is also shifting from a ‘pull’ mentality, where consumers usually pull the information, to a ‘push’ mentality, where timely information is sent to customers through alerts and notifications.

Push notifications represent approximately five times the pull volume, up from near zero 5-6 years ago.

Expedia’s push notifications for 2014 have been designed to support travellers through their trips – letting them know when check in opens or from which gate their flight is leaving for instance.

The possibility of selecting fares based on personal priorities will become increasingly common, Expedia predicts.

These personalised fares will present consumers with greater control over what they pay for and what they don’t, whether it is baggage inclusion, in-flight services, seat selection or flexibility.

From a hotel perspective, Expedia is seeing a number of hotels concentrating on niche areas such as family, couples only, sports, wellbeing or high-tech.

From a travel search point of view, this trend will continue to evolve, offering travellers more personalised recommendations or the option to search based on specific themes.

The OTA revealed that the Far East was the biggest travel winner of 2014, a trend that appears set to continue into 2015.

South and Central America, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe are also set to be popular.

Expedia UK and Ireland’s managing director, Andy Washington said: “With consumer confidence returning following the financial downturn, people are prepared to spend more on their holidays and go further afield in 2015.

“They are also looking to get more out of their trips, searching for experience rich destinations, all of which is fuelling an event-triggered travel trend.”

He added: “Greece, Turkey and Cyprus are offering great value for visitors and with almost year-round sunshine just a few hours away, we expect to this trend to continue into 2015 with searches for these countries by UK travellers for travel in 2015 already up by over 30%.”

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