SOURCE: Signal

Signal

October 12, 2016 09:00 ET

Travelers Increasingly Use Connected Devices for Planning and Booking, Smartphones Experience Largest Gains in Use

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Oct 12, 2016) - U.S. travelers are using more devices than ever before, increasing their use of smartphones, computers, and tablets for researching travel options and purchasing air travel and hotel rooms. In fact, a significant majority of consumers -- 63% -- say that they regularly use more than one device for planning and booking trips, according to a new consumer survey conducted by Signal, a global leader in real-time, people-based marketing.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers sheds light on travel planning and booking patterns in a multi-device world, suggesting how travel suppliers can create better cross-channel experiences to engage always-on travelers and increase conversions and loyalty. Key findings include:

  • Planning travel with multiple digital devices is the fastest-growing trend.
    In contrast to last year, trip planning vs. booking saw higher increases in multi-device usage, with more consumers frequently relying on smartphones, computers, and tablets for travel information. Smartphone use experienced the highest increase among all devices, with 51% of travelers using their mobile phones more often than last year for planning, and 41% reporting increased use for booking. Travelers are also using computers more often for planning (40%), and for booking (35%), and relying on tablets for planning (30%) and booking (24%) more frequently.
  • Mobile-loving Millennials are driving a mobile-first future.
    While most travelers say the computer is still their preferred device for planning (56%) and booking (58%), Millennials (ages 18-34) are propelling the smartphone revolution. They are 5 times more likely than Baby Boomers (age 56 and older) to research and book air travel and hotel rooms on their smartphones. They're also more likely to engage across devices: 73% of Millennials use multiple devices when planning and booking, versus 30% of Baby Boomers.
  • Cross-device behavior doesn't stop once tickets and rooms are booked.
    Travelers aren't just engaging across devices before their trip occurs -- they're staying connected after they leave home. Half of consumers use 2 devices when traveling, while a notable number (25%) are device enthusiasts, using 3 or more while traveling.

"Travelers today have more options than ever when planning air travel and hotel accommodations. These high-consideration purchase decisions are often made over numerous sessions across multiple screens, as travelers are comparing prices, reviews, and availability. This puts pressure on travel suppliers to recognize travelers as they move across devices, and create seamless, one-to-one experiences that will drive loyalty and conversions," said Mike Sands, CEO, Signal. "Travel marketers have an opportunity to use the rich customer data at their fingertips to deliver meaningful, relevant experiences everywhere consumers are interacting."

The data also uncovered important insights for travel suppliers looking to understand the varying preferences of business and leisure travelers. For example, almost half (40%) of business travelers say they use tablets for trip planning more frequently than they did a year ago, compared to 22% of leisure travelers. They're also more likely to convert on tablets: 38% say they have increased their use of tablets for booking travel in the last year, versus 16% of leisure travelers.

To provide the best planning and booking experiences, Signal recommends travel marketers consider the following strategies:

  • Create a single view of each customer to understand their cross-device journey. From the login registration on websites and mobile apps to information from frequent traveler programs, travel suppliers have a significant amount of first-party data at their disposal. By unifying all of that rich data into a cohesive customer view, marketers will be well-positioned to understand individual customers and deliver seamless experiences as travelers switch between devices.
  • Prioritize personalization and relevance. When asked how airlines and hotels can improve the planning and booking experience, the lack of personalization is cited as a top frustration among travelers: 37% say that airlines and hotels don't send them personalized offers when researching travel and making buying decisions. Relevance is also a concern, with 30% reporting that they see ads from airlines and hotels that aren't germane to them. Resolving cross-device identity while respecting privacy helps marketers power the meaningful, customer-centric experiences travelers want.
  • Use profile data to re-engage customers who haven't traveled lately. The survey found that travel suppliers have a significant opportunity to influence consumers to take a trip. Travel advertisements inspired 41% of people to start thinking about travel, as well as emails from travel suppliers (26%). By linking data to customer profiles that persist over time and get richer with every interaction, travel suppliers can provide the most relevant messages in real time and engage in ongoing, cross-channel conversations to build brand loyalty.

To learn more about Signal, visit www.signal.co.

About Signal
Signal is a global leader in real-time, people-based marketing. With one platform, Signal's integrated technology combines data collection, persistent identification, data onboarding and media activation for real-time cross-channel engagement. By leveraging Signal's platform, brands and publishers gain immediate knowledge of buyers, access to high quality audiences and a simplified activation process to engage consumers within minutes of recognition.

Today, Signal's technology runs on more than 45,000 digital properties in 158 countries. The platform facilitates billions of data requests monthly, supporting top brands around the world that generate more than $1.5 trillion in commerce, including Allstate, Audi, Crate & Barrel, DeVry University, GAP, JetBlue Airways, Macy's, 1-800-Flowers.com, Starcom MediaVest Group, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, and many more.

Signal has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including being named one of the fastest growing companies on the 2015 and 2016 Inc. 500 lists. Visit www.signal.co to learn more and follow Signal on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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