An increasing number of Singaporeans are using mobile to browse and purchase travel bookings. This is according to Criteo-commissioned study by Euromonitor International which polled Singaporeans to analyse their browsing and purchasing habits for online travel.
Online travel sales saw an increase of 7.1 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the past five years, totaling S$6 billion. Mobile travel sales will see a double-digit growth of 19.6 percent CAGR from 2017-2020, according to survey predictions.
"Singaporeans are tech savvy travellers who are browsing seamlessly across multiple devices to find the best deal before making their purchase. Travel websites and online travel agents (OTAs) need to focus on providing a mobile experience that is user-friendly, easy to navigate, has add-on features and secure payment methods. To drive transactions, they need to engage with shoppers during the discovery, search and booking phases," said Alban Villani, General Manager, Criteo Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
With regards to online and mobile browsing behaviours, the research found that all shoppers use a combination of OTAs, vendors' own website or app and online travel price aggregators.
Laptops are the most preferred device for online browsing of travel products and services at 42 percent, followed by smartphones at 33 percent and desktops at 18 percent.
In terms of booking, laptops are again the most preferred device, with half of all online travel sales made on laptops, compared to smartphones (21 percent) and desktops (23 percent).
Most shoppers said they "prefer to use a larger screen [such as laptop] when making purchases" (57 percent) and "typing a lot of personal information is difficult on a small screen" (43 percent).
It was also revealed that the biggest driver for online booking is convenience. Eighty-eight percent chose a combination of factors such as time-saving (54 percent) and being more convenient than a phone or physical booking (54 percent).
Price plays a big part in the shift towards online travel purchases too, with 44 percent of respondents believing that online travel providers and OTAs offer a better deal.
Besides that, the research found that online and mobile strategies are crucial for retailers and OTAs to engage with shoppers while they browse and book travel and ancillaries. Eighty-five percent of shoppers have seen retargeted ads and 52 percent have clicked on them.
"As online and mobile purchases become more commonplace, travel businesses and OTAs need to invest more in personalised marketing. This means showing shoppers ads that are based on what they have been looking at and displaying recommendations that may complement what they have already purchased. This adds another element of discovery and up to 70 percent of online shoppers who are served ads in this way go on to view products they had not looked at previously. Retailers who get this right will be able to drive online conversions very effectively," added Villani.
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