The latest device trends: here’s where your guests book from

A good marketing strategy has to be informed by many things, one being the latest trends in device usage. We all have a general understanding of where people spend their time online and where they’re buying from, but consistently analysing the data each quarter means we can try and understand people’s changing habits which can hopefully help to inform marketing strategy updates throughout the year.

Here’s what you need to know from a deep dive we did into our device data trends in Q1 2019.

Big spenders  

We were expecting to see a slight dip in revenue and transactions from the time period between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019 due to people cutting back and spending less after the typically lavish Christmas period, but nope. No dip. Maybe it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given the steady increase in consumer spending year on year. Relevancy in regards to times of year we traditionally associate with personal spending cut-backs might be lessening as the way people live and spend their money develops.

Importance of mobile… continued  

The way people purchase through mobile continues to develop as they feel more secure in doing so and technology becomes more sophisticated – our own clients have seen a 22% growth in mobile transactions in the last year. That said, data this quarter still shows that, although % of transactions are the same across desktop and mobile (both 45%, with transactions on mobile increasing this quarter), desktop still brings in a higher % of revenue: 49% vs 39% from mobile. People obviously still prefer clicking ‘buy now’ on desktop if it’s a more expensive buy. This could be down to a few factors such as:

  • The bigger the holiday, the bigger the purchase… the bigger the anxiety! No matter how invested we are in an exciting getaway, we all hate the part when we physically have to part with the cash. We use our laptops for browsing much less frequently than we do our mobiles so maybe your customers feel more comfortable taking the last step in this ‘big’ buying decision on desktop – it may feel less impulsive
  • The sheer excitement of a trip or a getaway begins with the planning. If your customer’s planning their trip with someone else, using a desktop device means access to bigger screens and multiple tabs, helping them make their final decisions
  • Age. Generally speaking, older people prefer to purchase on desktop over mobile, and a person of, or nearing, retirement age may have more of the time and expendable income necessary to make a bigger holiday purchase.

Although mobile revenue still isn’t as high as desktop, % of site visits through mobile are at a whopping 62% vs 29% via desktop. If the average person spends 3 hours and 35 minutes per day glued to their mobile device, it’s no real surprise there’s a whole lot of pre-buying plan-hatching, holiday-dreaming and destination scrolling being done. That’s why you need to keep optimising your site for mobile.

As mobile continues its rapid growth we’re particularly interested in seeing how mobile revenue pans out in Q2. Usually, we’d see a dip in this between Q1 and Q2, but given the significant growth of mobile in the last 2 years, we’ll be keeping a keen eye on the revenue side of things. Watch this space.

The device that lacks charisma

So, the tablet is still not the popular device everyone wants to be BFFs with and it doesn’t look as though it ever will be. Tablet % of website visits has stayed the same as last quarter, at 9%, as has its % of transactions, which has stayed at 10%. We expect to continue seeing % of revenue from the tablet taper off, and we’re not really expecting any kind of miraculous turn-around either. Ensure your hotel’s website delivers a good user experience on tablet of course! Just be aware of its (probably enternal) place at the bottom of your priority list.

To wrap up

Results this quarter don’t drastically shift where our heads are at compared to where they were in Q4 2018. Mobile continues to rule in terms of where your customers are perusing their options and making their decisions – we think % of mobile revenue will continue to creep up too, but for now, desktop is still a crucial revenue channel. So keep optimising both! Finally, we can’t see into the future or anything (or can we…) but, like we said, we’re keeping an eye on mobile revenue growth for Q2. Watch this space. Watch it!

As always, drop us a line on if you need any help or if you want any more info!

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