Content Journey of Today’s Traveler by Expedia Media Solutions and comScore

Study :  Spending, Research and Content Consumption Patterns for Travelers in New Study by Expedia Media Solutions and comScore

Commissioned by Expedia Media Solutions – the advertising sales division of global online travel leader Expedia, Inc. – and conducted by comScore, the study demonstrates the expansive opportunity that the leisure travel market provides for marketers – at $58 billion, travel accounted for 37 percent of total e-commerce through the first half of 2013 [comScore e-Commerce Measurement, H1 2013].

The study provides an in-depth look at the content journey of today’s traveler including platform and device usage patterns, purchase trends, and how content influences the decision-making process. The study tracks content consumption and sharing patterns before, during and after a trip is booked to help marketers understand how, when and where travelers are seeking and sharing digital content, both travel and non-travel related.

Understanding the Role of Content in the Travel Purchase Path

Online travel spending and mobile travel content consumption is rising, but not replacing the PC, creating more opportunity for marketers to engage with travelers.

  • Online content consumption is growing at a rapid pace, as consumers are spending 93 percent more time with online content than they did three years ago.
  • Online travel spending is up eight percent year-over-year (YoY).
  • Total mobile travel minutes have increased by 45 percent YoY and PC travel minutes have increased by two percent YoY.

Content is available and being accessed by consumers across more platforms and channels than ever before and online travel agencies are an important source across all platforms and throughout all stages of the booking process.

  • During the booking process, 26 percent of travel buyers were exposed to travel-related content on Facebook, with 23 exposed to paid content and nine percent exposed to organic.
  • Twenty-eight percent of total travel minutes are consumed on mobile devices and 24 percent of travelers access travel content exclusively on their mobile devices.
  • Online travel agencies (OTAs) are visited by 80 percent of travelers during the booking process and the average number of OTA visits during each phase exceeds that of any other category.

Different types of content resonate with and will be shared by consumers at specific points and on specific platforms throughout the content journey.

Fifty-five percent of travelers seek hotel and accommodation information, and it is the most commonly sought content across all decision stages when taking PC and mobile consumption into account. Information about weather/climate, airfare and activities follow at 46, 45 and 42 percent respectively.

  • Weather and climate information, followed by restaurant reviews, are most likely to be accessed on mobile, at 46 and 44 percent, respectively.
  • Image content is used 37 percent of the time during the travel decision process, which is more than twice as much as videos, at only 18 percent.
  • Upon return, 45 percent of travelers will post travel-related content on social media or write reviews.
  • At 64 percent, social media photos are most likely to be published from a laptop, followed by smartphones at 45 percent and tablets at 16 percent.

The study provides a 360-degree view of the traveler’s content journey, allowing marketers to understand the consumption habits of their potential customers. Using these insights, brands and advertisers can develop creative and effective content and distribute it across appropriate channels to reach a vast and content-hungry audience.

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