Travel website traffic via the mobile web has increased by a staggering 72% in the last six months, to account for a total of 17.4% of all website traffic in the industry, leading some experts to suggest that the end of the PC’s era of dominance is nigh.
A new report from the digital and web design specialists Nucleus, entitled “Beginning of the End of the PC Era?” shows an astonishing level of growth in the use of mobile devices to browse travel websites between August 2011 and January 2012.
The study, which was carried out on ten of the leading UK and international travel websites, revealed that high-end sites have by far the highest level of mobile penetration. Some of the biggest travel websites have seen mobile web traffic double in the last six months, with one leading site receiving 24.2% of its hits from mobile devices.
According to Nucleus, Apple iPhones and iPads were streets ahead of their rivals in the mobile browsing stakes, accounting for 85.6% of all traffic recorded in the study, a figure that rises even further when looking into traffic for luxury travel websites.
Surprisingly however, mobile web browsing with Android devices dropped over the last six months, although Nucleus believe that the platform did rise in popularity when it come to surfing mass market travel websites, something that shows Android has more strength in lower-price markets than it does in luxury ones.
The biggest performing single device was Apple’s iPad, which saw its mobile web browsing share increase by 12% over the six month period.
So what can travel websites derive from this research? The key, according to Nucleus, is that brands need to understand that mobile browsing is clearly the way forward, and so their sites need to be optimized for the most streamlined mobile browsing experience. This includes building mobile sites in HTML 5, using high definition images and optimizing their websites for touch navigation.