Criteo Research Reveals that Singaporeans Increasingly Use Mobile to Browse and Purchase Travel; Personalised Ads an Additional Element of Discovery

Criteo Research Reveals that Singaporeans Increasingly Use Mobile to Browse and Purchase Travel; Personalised Ads an Additional Element of Discovery

  • Businesses need to focus on investing in mobile strategies - mobile travel purchase increased 35 percent from 2011-2016, and is expected to continue growing fast
  • All respondents browsed for travel products online because of accessibility (74 percent) and convenience (69 percent)
  • 78 percent choose to browse on their smartphones instead of desktops/laptops because they can do so on-the-go; more than half have clicked on retargeted ads

Singapore, 28 April 2017 – Criteo (NASDAQ: CRTO), the performance marketing technology company, today unveiled new findings from a Criteo-commissioned study by Euromonitor International. With one in five online travel transactions already made on mobile in 2016, mobile travel sales will continue to grow and present the biggest growth opportunity. Euromonitor International surveyed 150 Singaporeans to analyse the online travel landscape, as well as browsing and purchase behaviours in Singapore to help travel businesses and Online Travel Agents (OTAs) identify and adopt digital strategies to engage travellers throughout their purchase journey.

The research revealed that travel remains an area Singaporeans are devoted to – in 2016, Singaporeans took 21.9 million outbound trips, and expenditure on leisure and recreation is expected to grow 3.2 percent CAGR from 2017-2020. Online travel sales have grown at 7.1 percent CAGR in the period 2011-2016, and totalled SG$6 billion in 2016 and mobile travel sales has accelerated, outpacing the growth of online travel sales and will see a double-digit growth of 19.6 percent CAGR from 2017-2020.

“Singaporeans are tech savvy travellers who are browsing seamlessly across multiple devices to find the best deal before making their purchase. Travel websites and 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.

Online and mobile browsing behaviours

While browsing online, all shoppers used a combination of OTAs, vendors’ own website or app and online travel price aggregators. Across all age groups, 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. Of those who choose to browse with their smartphones instead of laptops/desktops, over half say it is more convenient, and 78 percent said it allowed them to do so on-the-go. Other key online booking habits include:
  • Laptops are also the preferred device used for booking, with half of all online travel sales made on laptops, compared with 21 percent on smartphones and 23 percent on desktops.
  • Most shoppers still choose to book with laptops as they “prefer to use a larger screen when making purchases” (57 percent) and “typing a lot of personal information is difficult on a small screen” (43 percent).
  • The key drivers for booking via smartphones is being able to book anywhere (58 percent) and being more convenient than laptops/desktops (33 percent).

Engaging with shoppers during the discovery and purchase stages

According to Criteo’s commissioned research, Singaporeans took an average of 5.2 trips in the last 12 months, with 63 percent taking 5 or fewer trips; almost half were mid-length stays of between three to six days. 52 percent of Singaporeans booked their trip between one to four months before departure, and they are most likely to do so while at home (79 percent) on a weekend, although they would already have browsed on weekdays (56 percent). Other key findings on factors that affect their purchase include:
  • The biggest driver for online booking is convenience - 88 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 also plays a big part in the shift towards online travel purchases, with 44 percent of respondents believing that online travel providers and OTAs offer a better deal.
  • Half of all online travel purchases are of accommodation and air travel.
  • When purchasing online, Singaporeans are most likely to directly book via websites or apps of the airlines and/or lodging (52 percent) as it would be easier to change or cancel their booking (47 percent).
  • They also make direct purchases through OTAs (37 percent), as the website is easy to use (45 percent).

Online and mobile strategies are crucial for retailers and OTAs to engage with shoppers while they browse and book travel and ancillaries – 85 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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