In the third iteration of the Drum’s monthly chart series, in association with Ogury, we take a look at trends surrounding travel booking apps for the month of December.
December was a record-breaking month for the travel industry, with one-in-three Americans traveling last month, a 4.4% year-over-year increase. As more and more travelers book their trips online, findings from Ogury, a technology company specializing in mobile journey marketing, discover some interesting insights surrounding where people spend their time and for how long.
Ogury discovered that Booking.com was on top of the list in terms of market share, but were below average when it came to time spent in-app. Meanwhile, Expedia’s app had the second highest market share, and their users spent three times longer on the app per session than they did on the number one market share holder, Booking.com. These findings highlight that market share alone isn’t indicative of where users spend their time, as Expedia also had double the amount of sessions per user than Booking.com.
When looking at possession growth, Priceline was number one, with over four times greater growth than the watchlist average. In addition to possession growth, they also lead the pack in terms of sessions per user, 285% greater than the average. Despite the significant possession growth and the number of sessions, Priceline had the third lowest time per session of the group, at 2 minutes and 34 seconds. This could either suggest that they were successful with their December promotions directing users towards their app, but may not have kept users as engaged within the app as their competitors did, or alternatively, it could suggest they had a more seamless app experience.
With December putting a strain on many purse strings, it’s no surprise travel apps like Hopper were high in active users - third highest in fact. As Hopper tracks flight prices and gives periodic updates via push notifications on when flight prices drop, naturally their users were significantly active over December. Despite high active users, time spent per session on the Hopper app was the second lowest of the 10 apps analyzed, at 2 minutes and 5 seconds per session. The low time per session isn’t necessarily representative of a lack of user engagement; in fact, Hopper prides themselves on their simple user face and claim that flights can be booked on their app in 60 seconds or less.
In addition to Hopper, other mobile-first apps including Orbitz had engaged users over December, with Orbitz having the fourth highest number of sessions per user. It’s clear December shoppers want to bag a bargain over the holidays. With the price-conscious consumer in mind, it’s no wonder apps that search hundreds of sites for the best price, such as Kayak and Trivago, also had an active user base last month. However, despite both apps having active users, these users demonstrated different behaviors. Kayak’s users were twice as active as Trivago’s and had over three times the amount of sessions, indicating that users may have been more interested in booking flights than hotels.
With each of the analyzed travel booking apps growing in possession over the month of December, it’s clear the holiday season is a prime month for booking both last-minute travel, as well as booking trips for the year ahead. Whether it be gifts for others or rewards for themselves, users were active and engaged in travel apps throughout December.
With mobile driving the growth of online travel bookings, it’s important for marketers to understand the mobile user journey of their consumers, as not all travelers are the same, and not all journeys are the same. Leveraging first-party mobile journey data will provide visibility to user behavior outside owned apps and sites, closing the mobile journey data gap and allowing marketers to navigate their consumers travel booking journey.
|APP||MARKET SHARE||POSSESSION GROWTH||% ACTIVE USERS||SESSIONS PER USER||TIME PER SESSION|
Booking.com Travel Deals
Expedia Hotels, Flights & Car Rental Travel Deals
Hopper - Watch & Book Flights
Priceline Hotel Deals, Rental Cars & Flights
KAYAK Flights, Hotels & Cars
Trivago: Hotels & Travel
Travelocity Hotels & Flights
Orbitz - Hotels, Flights & Package deals
Hotwire Hotel & Car Rental App
CheapOair: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels Booking App