Voices of Travel

MOBILE MOTIVATION: Google by the numbers

What do Canadians — and in any given month, there are more than 4 million of them — look for when they’re shopping online for a hotel, airline ticket, car rental or vacation package? That’s the question that Google was asking as part of an online survey using panellists who researched on travel-related websites within the past six months. So what did Google discover? Well to start with, it learned that 96% of travel shoppers use the Internet when they do their research. It also found that Google is the travel shoppers’ search engine of choice (96%) followed by Yahoo! (21%), Bing (17%) and Ask.com (8%). As well, 70% of travel purchases are made online, 20% over the phone, 8% in person. And interestingly enough, most of that traffic is coming from Canadians 45 years of age or older, beginning their research 60 days prior to booking. And what do they book online? Well, hotel rooms are the most popular online booking (35%), followed by airline (30%) and vacation packages (29%). The Google survey also found that travel shoppers, whether shopping for budget or luxury travel, look for a deal more than anything else. Its research also revealed that on average people search for 16 queries prior to booking and visit a site 5 times prior to booking. And convenience, speed and user experience were the main reasons travellers book online. The majority of hotel bookers (76%) spend $100 to $500, while half of vacation bookers (50%) spend $1,000 to $3,000. Most air shoppers spend an average of $500 to $1,000, booking 3 to 4 times per year. As for mobile trends, Google found that 1 in 4 travellers use their mobile phone to research vehicle rental. Almost half of mobile researchers had booked travel 2 to 3 times in past 6 months (versus 34% of non-mobile researchers). And 46% of mobile researchers spent $500 to $3,000 on their last travel purchase versus 39% of non-mobile researchers. Google reports that consumers are using their mobile devices to shop for travel products mostly in their home (75%), at work (35%) visiting friends and family (27%), in restaurants (26%) and in line (23%). And perhaps even better, mobile researchers purchase more often and spend more.

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