People are increasingly taking out their smartphones and other mobile devices in order to book vacations, particularly at the last minute.
In the first quarter of 2016, mobile accounted for 26% of all worldwide online travel bookings, according to a Criteo report. This was especially true at the last minute, as 60% of all bookings made through an online travel agency (such as Priceline or Expedia) within 24 hours of the expected travel date occurred on a smartphone. And an additional 7% occurred on tablets.
On the other hand, only 15% of smartphone bookings and 8% of tablet bookings occurred at least 12 weeks before the expected travel date.
The situation was largely similar for airline and hotel direct websites, as 30% of all bookings within 24 hours of the expected travel date took place on smartphones, and 11% occurred on tablets. But just 6% of smartphone bookings occurred at least 12 weeks before the expected travel date, and 11% happened on tablets.
All of this indicates that travel brands and agencies should optimize their mobile sites and apps in order to make the experience more user friendly and provide customers with a way to reach their sites at crucial times.
Hotels.com, for example, claims that one in three transactions occur on mobile, according to travel industry site Skift. Furthermore, 60-70% of bookings on the Hotels.com app are made for the very same night.
This trend is particularly important for millennials and younger consumers, who are becoming larger parts of the key spending demographic. As a result, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming consumers’ primary computing device. But for retailers, that poses a key challenge: Users are spending considerable time shopping on mobile, but making relatively few purchases.
As a result, social networks, payment processors and card networks, and retailers themselves, are all developing solutions that make it easier for users who shop on mobile to begin to buy on mobile, and then channeling funds into products that incentivize users to do so.
By presenting options like on-site buy buttons, single-click checkout, financing services, and unified offline-to-online commerce experiences, various brands are beginning to convert desktop shoppers to mobile. But mobile wallets are beginning to take hold, and if they can successfully combine multiple features that ease barriers to mobile purchasing into one payment platform, they could hold the ticket to retailer success in increasing mobile purchases.
Jaime Toplin of BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on mobile checkouts that predicts how e-commerce will change and m-commerce will grow, explains why users are shopping, but not buying, on mobile devices, looks at how stakeholders are looking to attract these users, and shows how products like mobile wallets could be game-changing in terms of mobile retail.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- E-commerce and m-commerce are on the rise. In 2014, mobile comprised 11.6% of the US’ $303 billion in e-commerce sales. BI Intelligence forecasts that by 2020, mobile will account for 45% of the $632 billion in total e-commerce sales.
- Users are spending the majority of their commerce-related browsing time in browsers rather than apps. In order to increase m-commerce conversion rates, retailers should be focused on browser-based solutions, which attract a wider audience than the loyal shoppers who download apps.
- If they move into the browser, mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Android Pay could drive an increase in m-commerce. That’s because they provide a more streamlined experience to users than any of the other proposed solutions. However, it’ll be hard for them to catch on fully if they remain focused solely on apps and in-store payments.
In full, the report:
- Forecasts the rising percentage of mobile commerce amidst an expanding e-commerce landscape.
- Provides data showing why users are spending most of their time on mobile devices, but most of their dollars on PC.
- Explains the barriers to mobile buying from a consumer-facing perspective.
- Explores how stakeholders are trying to solve these problems and increase mobile purchasing.
- Describes the role that mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Android Pay could play in increasing mobile purchasing in both the browser and the app.
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