The IAB’s Mobile Travel Audit, published today (October 30), also reveals less than half (48 per cent) of the UK’s top travel brands have a mobile app, with only 56 per cent (14) of these offering fully transactional services.
The study also finds only 20 per cent of the audited brands offer a “seamless user journey”, where logged-in customers can see items in their purchase basket across desktop, tablet and mobile.
Alex Kozloff, IAB head of mobile, says the findings are “surprising” for brands in this sector, particularly as UK internet users spend an average of 43 hours per month with a connected device, and increasingly these are with mobiles.
She adds: “Mobile now accounts for 14 per cent of total digital spend, it’s a medium that can’t be ignored.”
Meanwhile, the study also found that less than half (42 per cent) of the audited brands optimised their search marketing campaigns for mobile devices.
Furthermore, it found four of the audited brands were investing in mobile search campaigns that directed users towards non-mobile optimised sites.
The research, conducted in September and October, gauged the uptake of the mobile channel by the top 50 spending advertisers in the travel category by auditing their presence for mobile websites, apps, responsive design sites and tablet devices.
It found that just 4 per cent of these sites have websites designed specifically for tablets, despite the widely acknowledged importance on optimising services for such devices.
Speaking at this month’s Abta conference, TUI Travel group chief information officer Mittu Sridhara urged attendees to accommodate for mobile devices or risk falling behind competitors.
He said: “Mobile is moving quickly and if you are not in it you will not learn with your customers or evolve with your customers. There will be no time to play catch up later.”