SOURCE: Mobiquity

Mobiquity

April 24, 2013 09:00 ET

Poor Mobile Experiences Hurt Revenue and Loyalty for Travel Brands, Finds Mobiquity Study

35 Percent of Connected Travelers Who Have an Unsatisfactory Mobile Experience With a Travel Brand Won't Book Again; Travelocity and Hilton Lead in Tablet Satisfaction and Bookings

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Apr 24, 2013) - An independent study of smartphone and tablet-owning travelers published today by Mobiquity (www.mobiquityinc.com) crowned Travelocity and Hilton as the most popular brands for travel booking on a tablet, but also revealed that mobile design and performance issues are causing brands to miss out on their slice of the $25 billion1 forecasted for mobile travel bookings in 2014. Mobiquity's study found that 35 percent of connected travelers would be less likely to book again with a travel brand after a slow, confusing or non-optimized experience when researching or booking travel on a mobile device. An infographic illustrating the findings can be found at http://mobiquityinc.com/connected-traveler and the full report can be downloaded at http://mobiquityinc.com/connected-traveler-report.

"The Connected Traveler: Mobile Satisfaction Report" analyzed the experiences of 1,000 people who have smartphones and tablets to plan and book travel with 19 of the top travel brands. It found that consumers want to use their mobile devices for travel planning and booking, but that slow and poorly designed mobile apps and sites are impacting their experiences.

Consumers Have Good Mobile Intentions:

  • After researching travel on their tablets, 54 percent of tablet owners return to the Web to book, but 26 percent go on to use tablet sites to make bookings.
  • Tablets are the preferred device for planning future travel: 25 percent of connected travelers will use their tablet to research and book travel within the next month. 
  • 39 percent of tablet owners and 33 percent of smartphone owners plan to spend more than $500 on travel bookings via mobile sites.
  • 36 percent of tablet owners and 40 percent of smartphone owners plan to spend more than $500 on travel bookings via mobile apps.
  • 76 percent of smartphone owners and 35 percent of tablet owners want to use their devices to book travel or hotel rooms when they are on the go and have an immediate need.

But Bad Mobile Experiences:

  • 52 percent of tablet owners and 60 percent of smartphone owners complained that mobile travel sites were slow to load.
  • 51 percent of tablet owners said that search and selection options on travel apps were complicated, and 44 percent reported that sites were not optimized for the tablet.
  • 20 percent of tablet owners were disappointed that apps were not integrated with their loyalty programs, which meant they couldn't access or redeem points/miles.

Top-performing Travel Brands for Tablet-Owning Travelers:

  • Travelocity came out on top for delivering the most satisfactory mobile experiences overall on the tablet, followed by Kayak for its tablet app and Marriott for its tablet site.
  • Hilton and Expedia were the brands most used for research on a tablet, while Hilton and Marriott scored highest for actual bookings via a tablet.

"The connected traveler demands an extremely fast, intuitive experience given the hectic and stressful nature of the travel journey. Unfortunately, many travel apps and mobile sites fall short on the quality of the overall user experience including slow page loads, complex navigation, and lack of integration with other features like loyalty/miles programs," said Scott Snyder, Mobiquity's president and chief strategy officer. "Despite smartphone and tablet users representing the high-end of travel spend, many travel brands have simply translated what they have on the Web to mobile devices versus taking full advantage of the unique capabilities of these devices. This is a missed opportunity to capture more value."

Methodology
Research for the "Connected Traveler: Mobile Satisfaction Report" was conducted by ResearchNow, which, between March 11-18, 2013, surveyed 1,000 consumers who use smartphones and tablets for travel research and booking. The 19 brands evaluated were selected from lists published by comScore, IATA and Hotel-Online. The margin of error for this study is +/- 3 percent.

About Mobiquity
Mobiquity is a leading professional services firm working with the Global 2000 to create engaging enterprise-class mobile solutions and apps that drive business value. Mobile is in our DNA, and clients benefit from how we expertly and effectively blend the three key disciplines that unleash the power and innovation of mobile computing: strategy, user-centered design and core technology. Since inception, our client roster has surged to more than 120 companies, including CVS, Fidelity Investments, MetLife, the New York Post, Putnam Investments, The Boston Globe and Weight Watchers International, and we partner with SAP to help its customers develop and implement mobile strategies and applications that optimize enterprise solution investments. To learn more, visit www.mobiquityinc.com.

1 According to PhoCusWright's U.S. Mobile Travel Report, February 2013