June 19, 2013

Tablets overtake smartphones for hotel website traffic


Google predicts that US hotel searches will be up 24% in 2013 overall, but that includes a 68% uptick in searches from mobile devices against a 4% decrease in desktop queries. Searches from tablets, in particular, were expected to increase by 180%.

Mobile traffic is becoming increasingly significant for the travel industry, and hotels in particular. Google predicted that US hotel searches would be up 24% in 2013 overall, but that includes a 68% uptick in searches from mobile devices against a 4% decrease in desktop queries. Searches from tablets, in particular, were expected to increase by 180%.

Adobe Systems Inc.’s “Hotel Benchmarking Metrics” report found that actual visits are also tipping in tablets’ favor. The study analyzed more than 300 million visits to 31 hotel websites worldwide in Q4 2012 (80% of which were for US properties), finding that nearly one-sixth of traffic to those sites came from mobile devices. Tablets garnered nearly 60% of those mobile visits.

With tablet and smartphone usage increasing, consumer behaviors on each device are becoming more distinct. Tablet browsing is much more like PC usage than smartphone research, the latter of which tends to occur in last-minute, on-the-go situations. It shows in hotel research: According to the Adobe study, tablet users spent much more time on hotel websites, viewing an average of 4.9 pages per visit in Q4 2012, approximately the same as PC users. That’s compared with hotel researchers on mobile phones who viewed an average of 3.4 pages per visit.

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