The Rise of Mobile Booking in Travel

by Vincent Trivett + Skift Team - Nov 2013

Skift Research Take

Mobile commerce is growing in importance for the travel industry, but poor design and mobile user interface sometimes means that travel planning and inspiration that starts on mobile often results in booking through a more traditional channel. How can travel brands book more sales from this fast-growing medium?

Report Overview

Mobile phones and tablets are still new, but their impact is already felt in the travel industry. Travel sales on mobile devices, through both the mobile phone browser and native apps grew nearly 100 percent in the U.S. just last year, but there is still a lot of room for mobile booking to grow.

Despite all of the hype around mobile commerce, completely mobile bookings are still hampered by legacy platforms, cumbersome processes and designs that aren’t optimized for the small screen or on the go use cases. The conversion rate is considerably lower for travel products than mobile commerce in general.

This trends report will explore the huge growth in mobile queries and examine why this often fails to translate into mobile sales. Mobile commerce is often assumed to comprise native apps for iOS and Android. We will examine the benefits of native apps and the importance of having a mobile-optimized website for those who don’t download the app. It will also look at trends in other countries and the demographics of travelers who book on mobile devices. Finally, it will distill best practices for mobile booking based on conversations with experts and examples.