Research Insights European Travelers Embrace Smartphone Shopping, If Not Booking

European Travelers Embrace Smartphone Shopping, If Not Booking

September 2017
Brandie Wright

European Travelers Embrace Smartphone Shopping, If Not Booking

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the very first iPhone, and smartphone ownership is still on the rise in Europe. The near ubiquity of mobile has led to enormous expectations about mobile booking in travel. However, it's evident that not everyone has embraced the switch from point-and-click to touch-and-swipe for the entire travel planning journey.

Smartphones are among the easiest devices for consumers to use, and are clearly a big hit when it comes to travel shopping in France, Germany, and the U.K. However, there's still quite a gap when it comes to actually making purchases. Even a decade after one of the most influential consumer gadgets hit the market, the capabilities of mobile still don't quite stack up for European travel purchases, according to a new Phocuswright report, The European Smartphone Traveler in 2017.

The top five travel-related activities performed on smartphones are all associated with research-related activities: exploring destinations to visit, pricing flights and hotels for a trip, and checking out specific restaurants and activities to do while in-destination. Once the research is done, however, most travelers switch to the desktop to finalize their plans. Flight and hotel bookings are over five times as likely to be made on desktop and laptop computers than on the powerful, convenient smartphones in travelers' pockets. Some travelers are likely turned off by the small screen size and limited keyboard functions available on smartphones. And for the majority of travelers who don't travel very often, booking and purchasing from their desktop computers may be a more comforting experience for that big annual trip.

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The European Smartphone Traveler in 2017 provides a complete view of French, German and British smartphone travelers in 2017 and answers who they are, what travel apps do they use, and how do apps stack up to the mobile web.

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