48% of top travel advertisers have mobile optimised website

IAB mobile study reveals nearly half of the top 50 UK travel advertisers have a mobile optimised website, however 32% of top 50 UK travel brands have no mobile presence.

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Research released today by the IAB reveals that nearly half (48%) of the top 50 UK travel brands have a mobile optimised site, however just 6% of those brands have a site specifically designed for tablet devices.

The Mobile Travel Audit was carried out between September and October 2013 across the top 50 travel companies spending the most on advertising in the UK, to gauge their uptake across the mobile channel. Several different measures were checked, including mobile optimised sites, tablet specific sites, responsive web design, search, apps and mobile ticketing. This study follows on from The Mobile Retail Audit undertaken by the IAB in June 2013.

The study showed that 32% of the travel brands audited had no mobile presence whatsoever, which is particularly thought-provoking in the context of the IAB’s recent RealView* research which revealed that the average person uses some form of 'connected device' 34 times a day.

The research also revealed that 52% of the top travel brands had a mobile app and only 56% of those apps were transactional, which means for almost half of travel apps surveyed, customers could not make a purchase directly from the app itself. 

Travel advertisers’ uptake of ‘single user’ journeys** was also measured in the audit. A ‘single user’ journey means logged in customers could see items in their basket across devices. Of the 14 travel companies with a transactional app, 10 employed a single user approach (71%). This provides an interesting comparison to The Mobile Retail Audit which found that of the 15 transactional apps, only 5 employed a single user approach (33%).

The study also revealed that less than half (42%) of the top 50 travel advertisers optimised their search campaigns for mobile in comparison to 48% of retail advertisers who were shown to do so in The Mobile Retail Audit. Furthermore, the research found that four of the top spending travel brands were investing in mobile search that sent users to non-optimised mobile sites.

IAB’s Head of Mobile, Alex Kozloff commented: “With British consumers now spending more time than ever online, an average of 43 hours per month, it’s surprising to see that such a large percentage of the top 50 UK travel advertisers still have no mobile presence. Mobile now accounts for 14% of total digital spend, it’s a medium that can’t be ignored. 

"Our recently launched Mobile & Tablet Gallery has highlighted the creative possibilities mobile has to offer when done correctly.”

*IAB RealView study

**More on the “Single User” approach:this means that when a user is logged in to a desktop site or mobile app, any items in their basket automatically appear in the basket across devices. In other words, if a user logs in to a website on their computer and puts an item in the basket, and then before checking out the purchase, logs into the app via mobile, the same item still appears in the basket.