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HOLIDAY BOOKINGS – PATH TO PURCHASE


20 January 2019

    ResearchBods


Time to book a holiday! With so much choice in holiday, travel and review websites and apps, it can be a digital journey in itself. So where do people start? What are their online browsing habits, and what influences their path to purchase? We combined multiple data streams to gain a deeper understanding of the behaviours that influence the researching and booking of an European holiday.

 


 

OUR APPROACH

We used a three stage combined methodology approach to merge actual and claimed behaviour.

 

1. PRE-STAGE QUANT SURVEY

-Online survey of 300 participants who are looking at booking a holiday (either a package holiday or trip involving flight and hotel) in January/ February 2018.

-Questions covered intentions to book, previous use of holiday operators and consent to track digital behaviours in the next stage.

 

2. PASSIVE METERING

-From the 300 who completed stage 1, there were 183 participants who opted in to have their digital behaviours passively tracked (known as passive metering). This tracks the websites and apps they visit, what time they do this and for how long – all via their smart device.

-We tracked this usage over a 1 month period from 20th January to 20th February 2018.

-All data is anonymised and analysed at an aggregated level.

 

3. POST-STAGE QUANT SURVEY

-Follow up survey to understand who booked during stage 2, and gauge a level of detail around the booking to assist in the analysis (i.e. family or adult only booking, amount spent, standard of hotel etc).

 


SAMPLE BREAKDOWN

For the 300 participants in stage 1, we captured profile points such as gender, age category, social grade and region, as well as asking if they had ever used a specific selection of holiday operators.


SMART DEVICE USAGE

Usage time on smart devices is fiercely competitive. The below shows a breakdown of smart device usage via category. Social Media rules the roost at 35.5%, with Travel, Maps & Navigation at only 2.4%, despite being a time of active search for holiday.

(Base: Data from 183 participants over 1 month period.)


CATEGORIES WITHIN TRAVEL

There was a longer ‘total’ period of time spent on online travel agents (OTA) vs traditional travel agents (TTA), but less time spent on each session – 2 mins 2 secs vs 2 mins 50 secs.

(Base: Data from 183 participants over 1 month period. The above shows 6 out of the 8 categories. Not shown are travel/maps, car rentals, and other, due to low base.)


TOP HOLIDAY/TRAVEL WEBSITES & APPS

We measured how often, for how long and when each website/app was used. Trip Advisor was used significantly more often than any other website/app, with a high number of sessions, but low average time spent on each session.

(Base: Data from 183 participants over 1 month period. The above shows the top 18 holiday/travel websites and apps out of the 415 that were visited.)

 

We found that review websites/apps are used by 2 in 3 people, nearly twice the usage of the most popular travel website Tui. This confirms that websites such as Trustpilot and Tripadvisor play a key role in the decision making process when booking a holiday.

 

(Base: Data from 183 participants over 1 month period. The above shows the top 18 holiday/travel websites and apps out of the 415 that were visited.)

 

We saw a morning peak at 8.00am before work (most likely during commute) then slowly increasing throughout the day, hitting a high at around 8.00pm.

(Base: Data from 183 participants over 1 month period. The above shows traffic from all holiday/travel websites and apps that were visited.)


KEY HOLIDAY OPERATORS

Here we take a deeper look at eight key holiday operators, measuring how are they used and for how long. Tui (20hrs+), Expedia (17hrs+) and Thomas Cook (13hrs+) came out top when looking at total hours spent on the website or app over a one month period.

(Base: Data from 183 participants over 1 month period.)

 

Although more people visited First Choice (19.1%) than Jet2Holidays (15.9%) and On The Beach (10.9%), people spent less time on average on their First Choice sessions (1 min 56 secs).

 

 

(Base: Data from 183 participants over 1 month period.)


BOOKERS VS NON-BOOKERS

From the 183 participants who were tracked, 91 claimed (via a follow up survey) that they had booked a summer holiday. Here we show the behavioural differences between the two cohorts during this time.

Non-bookers spent longer and looked at more websites and apps than bookers. “Not being able to find what they wanted at the right cost/deal” was one of the main reasons cited by non-bookers in the follow up survey.

 


BEHAVIOUR OF BOOKERS

We took a deeper look at the behaviour of people that booked a holiday, comparing who booked it, the type of holiday and final cost.

 

 

 

(Base: Data from 91 participants over 1 month period. The above shows activity on holiday/travel websites and apps.)


BOOKING USER JOURNEY

The following shows the timeline of activity for two individual examples (A & B). Outlining all holiday/travel websites and apps that were used over a one month period. Both examples include a review website in the week of going ahead with the booking.

 

EXAMPLE A

 

EXAMPLE B

 


So that completes our journey for now folks. By combining claimed and passive metering data we’re able to gain a deeper understanding of the behaviours that influence the researching and booking of a European holiday. We can see how different competitors measure up, the increasing role of review websites in people’s path to purchase, as well as insights around time spent looking in relation to type of holiday and budget.