Move over smartphone, there's a new mobile disruptor in town. Tablet adoption is skyrocketing among U.S. leisure travelers, triggering dramatic changes in online and travel shopping behavior. According to a new PhoCusWright Innovation Edition report, 44% of travelers now own a tablet, and an additional four in 10 plan to purchase one by the end of 2014.
With smartphone penetration at 75%, the tablet's rapid rise means a growing share of travelers is splitting online travel planning across multiple web-enabled devices. In 2013, one third of U.S. online travelers owned a smartphone, laptop and tablet, up from less than a quarter in 2012.
While desktop/laptop computers still get the highest marks for ease-of-use in terms of travel planning, seven in ten tablet owners rate planning a vacation online via tablet as somewhat or very easy. Although most tablet owners also have a smartphone close at hand, they are more likely to rely on their tablet for destination selection, shopping and booking – making tablets a crucial element of mobile travel strategy in 2014.
PhoCusWright's Traveler Technology Survey 2013 provides travel companies and marketers with a comprehensive view of how the latest devices, mobile functionality and social networks are shaping the consumer leisure travel planning process. The research provides rich insight into multi-device travel planning and provides an in-depth look at how travelers use social platforms and mobile devices before, during and after their trips.
Research highlights include:
Analysis of online travelers' ownership and adoption of mobile phones, smartphones and web-enabled devices, including PCs, tablets and more
Detailed examination of travelers' mobile Internet usage, highlighting travel-related mobile activities such as pre-trip research and shopping, mobile bookings and a range of in-travel mobile activities (navigation/mapping, flight check-in and social network trip updates)
Discussion of social network participation among online travelers, including what networks they use, how often they connect and travel-related activity