How People Use Their Phones For Travel

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How people use their phonesfor travelNew research by Google

Google ResearchIn today’s mobile-first world, people turn to their phones constantlyto help make travel decisions. To help marketers better understandthis dynamic, Google partnered with Ipsos to survey smartphoneusers to find out more about how phones have become a criticalguide before, during, and after their travels.In this report, Google shares insight into the role our phones play inmaking travel decisions.

Google ResearchMethodologyFORMAT15-minute online questionnaire covering travel category.POPULATIONSmartphone users in the U.S., aged 18–64, who used a smartphone forfinance in the past month. Quotas set on enumeration data per verticalfor age, gender, education, and internet usage frequency.*SAMPLE SIZEN 500 per verticalMARKETU.S.DATEOctober 2016*To ensure vertical representation, a soft launch based on the online population was conducted to determine the makeup of each vertical. After the soft launch wascomplete and each vertical’s makeup was defined, quotas were set per vertical to match this universe. Weighting was applied on the back end if needed.

Google ResearchKey findings1Smartphones aretravel guides.2Apps are for loyaltyand convenience.3Simplicity ofuse is key.4Memory is adealbreaker.More than half of smartphoneTravelers rely on both apps andFor consumers, there is notTaking up too much phoneusers turn to their device inmobile sites, but for differenta more valuable attribute in amemory is the #1 app-relatedI-want-to-go moments. Mostpurposes. Apps are often usedtravel app than ease of use andissue that leads consumers tooften, they’re seeking outto track loyalty programs andnavigation. This is nearly twiceuninstall a travel app. However,discounts and researchingaccess digital boarding passes,as important as anything elsepeople will give your app anotheractivities to do before andwhile mobile sites are used toan app can offer.shot if changes are made.during their trip.research activities.

In I-want-to-go moments, more than half ofsmartphone owners turn to their devices51% of smartphone owners use theirdevice for travel-related activitiesOf those, 71% do so at leastweeklyBase: 1,001*Q2. Below is a list of activities you can do using your smartphone. Please select all the activities you’ve done on your smartphone in the last 30 days.*Data for this question was taken from the 2016 App Landscape study.Base: 500Q4. You’ve said you use your smartphone to do the following activities. How often do you do these on your smartphone? - Find things to do/places to eat while traveling; Organize holiday/business travelGoogle Research

Google ResearchSmartphones have become a go-toresource for nearly every travel needTop travel activities over the past 30 days44% Looked for discounts or offers35% Looked at things to do/tourist information before visiting32% Looked at things to do/tourist information while travelling29% Looked at flight options28% Checked flight times25% Looked at accommodation options24% Watched videos about accommodation or the local area22% Checked into flight or accommodation20% Found address/contact information of a travel agency20% Booked accommodation19% Looked at rental car options18% Booked a flight18% Used a digital ticket/boarding pass15% Used a loyalty program14% Made a last-minute booking11% Wrote a review for a destinationBase: 500Q8.Which of the following activities have you done on your smartphone in the past 30 days (using either a mobile website or an app)?Q9. How often do you do each of the following activities on your smartphone?

Google ResearchTo discover new travel apps, people turnmost to friends, family, and app storesTop methods of travel app discovery35% My friends/family are using them35% By browsing app stores31% Saw an ad while browsing the web28% I read about them online27% Saw an ad on TV27% Through search engines27% Recommended to me in the app store25% I see them shared on social networks23% Saw an ad while using another app22% From visiting the mobile website first13% Saw an ad on YouTube12% Saw an ad in a magazine, newspaper or flyer12% Suggested to me in a store or branch or while traveling11% An organization/business informed me about their app directly9%Base: 500Q34. What are the top 3 ways you find out about the travel smartphone apps you use?I heard about them on YouTube

Google ResearchWhen deciding whether to install atravel app, ease of use is top of mindTop motivating factors for downloading travel apps36% To make a specific activity/task easier32% Recommended by others32% To access discounts or offers20% To complete a purchase19% Got a specific reward for downloading the app19% Past experience with a similar app13% Activity unavailable on the mobile website18% None of the aboveBase: 500Q35. For which of these reasons have you downloaded a travel app in the past? Select all that apply.

Google ResearchMost people have never paid for a travelapp. But for those who have, contentand reviews are the driving factors18%Reasons for paying44% It had the content I wanted40% The app had good reviews39% It offered features/functionality unavailable on the free alternatives82%35% I wanted an app that is ad-free30% There were exclusive deals/discounts offered through the app29% I’m a frequent user of the brand/company offering the appHave never paid to29% I thought it would be easier to use than free alternativesdownload travel app25% I wanted to have the same app as my friends17% There were no free alternatives3%None of the aboveBase: 500 *MedianQ22. What is the most you have ever paid for a travel app? Please enter amount to the nearest whole number.Base: Have paid to download a travel app (n 92)Q23. Why have you chosen to pay for travel apps over other free alternatives?Have paid to downloadtravel app

Google ResearchOf the travel apps people have installed,over half are used at least weeklyOn average, users have 2.3 travel appscurrently installed on their smartphoneAnd 58% of those apps areused at least monthlyNumber of apps currently installedFrequency of app use3 10%Base: 500Q14. How many travel apps are installed on your smartphone (including any that were already installed when you bought it)?Base: Has travel apps installed on smartphone (n 373)Q15. Roughly what percentage of the travel apps are installed on your smartphone do you use?

Google ResearchMore people turn to mobile sites for travelthan apps, but each has a role to playTravel activities inpast 30 daysApp & mobile site usage for top travel activitiesAmong those who have performed activity in the past 30 daysPrefer app58%Used an app65%Used a mobilewebsitePrefer mobile website60%Use a loyalty program15%58%Use a digital ticket/boarding pass25%49%Check into flight or accommodation32%48%Book a flight33%46%Check flight times35%41%Book accommodation38%39%Find address/contact information of a travel agency46%38%Write a review for a destination34%37%Look at things to do/tourist information while traveling40%37%Look at flight options44%36%Look for discounts or offers38%36%Look at accommodation options42%35%Watch videos about accommodation or the local area38%34%Make a last-minute booking45%32%Look at rental car options35%31%Look at things to do/tourist information before visiting 47%Base: 500Q5. Have you used a mobile website or an app for each of these in the last 30 days? – Find things to do/places to eat while traveling; Organize holiday/businesstravelBase: Have done the activity on smartphone in past 30 days (base above n 30 are shown) *Small base under n 50.Q11. For which of these activities would you prefer to use an app, and for which would you prefer to use a mobile website?

The apps they love most are easy to use and navigateGoogle ResearchWhat features people prefer to have in their favorite travel apps58% They’re easy to use and navigate36% They have good discounts or offers31% I receive useful notifications from them28% I like the way they look26% I’ve personalized them so I get the best experience26% They’re from a brand or company I use a lot in the real world26% There’s a large range of things to explore24% There’s always new things to explore9%Base: 500Q27. Which of the following are true of your favorite apps?None of the above

Offering a wide range of features and storagepreferences for future activities are amongthe keys to building app preferenceWhat users find most valuable about their favorite travel appsPreferHas a wide range of features64%Stores my preferences to make future activities easier62%Requires sign in for secure access59%Uses my current location to provide relevant local information58%Stores personal information for a more personalized experience47%Specializes in a small number of features that I use frequently45%Is free to download but has ads within the app41%Stores my credit card/billing information to make future purchases faster34%Is linked to my social networks27%Charges a fee to download but is ad-free19%Base: 500Q28. Thinking about all of the travel apps that you use, which of the following features do you prefer to have?Google Research

Google ResearchIf they provide value, push notificationsaren’t a turnoffMost useful notifications45% Trip status (e.g., flight delayed, check-in time)44% New discount or offer39% Price change of a flight you’re looking at38% Reminder of a booking/purchase in progress30% Loyalty points update25% Upgrade to the app itself (e.g., new feature added)22% Recommendation of a product/service87%find travelnotifications onmobile useful19% New product or service availableBase: 500Q29. Apps or websites can give you notifications on your phone to tell you about a new update, message, or event, for example. What sort of travel notifications doyou find useful?Q30. What is the most useful travel notification you have ever received on your smartphone?

Google ResearchRemember this: Travelers stop using apps whenthey’re not useful or take up too much memory30% I needed to free up memory29% I no longer had a need for that particular appPersonal reasons forabandoning an appWhy no longer needed?28% It wasn’t as useful as I thought22% I had a similar app that was more useful48% Was using for21% I had a similar app that was easier to useone-off trip15% I forgot I had the app6%My friends stopped using it27% It was taking up a lot of memory20% It wasn’t easy to use or navigate19% The app contained too many adsApp-related reasonsfor abandonment17% I was receiving too many notifications from it16% It had technical problems15% Ads made the app harder to navigate13% It needed to be updated too often13% Ads were not relevant to me12% It wasn’t as describedBase: 500Q40. Have you stopped using travel apps on your smartphone for any of the reasons below? Select all that apply.Q41. And have you stopped using travel apps on your smartphone for any of these reasons?Base: No longer has need for a particular app (n 104)Q42. You said you’ve stopped using travel apps because you no longer had a need for it/them. Why did you no longer need it/them?42% Other apps coveredtravel needs28% No longer customer ofcompany

The good news: People will reconsider using anapp if it’s improved (and trimmed down in size)Google ResearchReasons why users re-engage with travel apps27% The app uses less memory26% The app was redesigned, for easier use25% Discount on next purchase24% Exclusive or bonus offers or products23% New features added20% The app uses less mobile data13% Family or friends start using it11% Being linked to the app in a relevant situation online5%Base: 500Q43. Thinking about travel apps that you’ve stopped using, which of the following would encourage you to use the app again?Nothing would make me start using the app(s) again

How people use their phonesfor travelNew research by Google

Google Research In today’s mobile-first world, people turn to their phones constantly to help make travel decisions. To help marketers better understand this dynamic, Google partnered with Ipsos to survey smartphone users to find out more about how phones have become

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