28 April 2017

Criteo quantifies the Singaporean love of travel

+Mobile travel purchase increased 35% from 2011 to 2016, and is expected to continue growing fast

+Respondents browsed travel products online because of accessibility (74%) and convenience (69%)

+Eight in 10 (78%) choose to browse on smartphones instead of desktops/laptops because they can do so on-the-go

Criteo, the performance marketing technology company, has found that mobile travel sales will continue to grow and present the biggest growth opportunity. The findings are from a Criteo-commissioned study* by Euromonitor International, which surveyed 150 Singaporeans to analyse the online travel landscape, as well as browsing and purchase behaviours in Singapore to help travel businesses and online travel agents (OTAs) identify and adopt digital strategies to engage travellers throughout their purchase journey.

The research revealed that travel remains an area that Singaporeans are devoted to – in 2016, Singaporeans took 21.9 million outbound trips, and expenditure on leisure and recreation is expected to have a CAGR of 3.2% from 2017 to 2020. Online travel sales have grown at 7.1% CAGR in the period 2011 to 2016, and totalled S$6 billion in 2016. Mobile travel sales have accelerated, outpacing the growth of online travel sales and will see 19.6% CAGR from 2017 to 2020.

“Singaporeans are tech savvy travellers who are browsing seamlessly across multiple devices to find the best deal before making their purchase. Travel websites and OTAs need to focus on providing a mobile experience that is user-friendly, easy to navigate, has add-on features and secure payment methods. To drive transactions, they need to engage with shoppers during the discovery, search and booking phases,” said Alban Villani, GM, Criteo Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

While browsing online, all shoppers used a combination of OTAs, the vendors’ own website or app and online travel price aggregators. Across all age groups, laptops are the most preferred device for online browsing of travel products and services with this method chosen by 42%, of respondents, followed by smartphones at 33% and desktops at 18%. Of those who choose to browse with their smartphones instead of laptops/desktops, over half say it is more convenient, and 78% said it was because smartphones allowed them to do so on-the-go. Other key online booking habits include:

Laptops are also the preferred device used for booking, with half of all online travel sales made on laptops, compared with 21% on smartphones and 23% on desktops.

Most shoppers still choose to book with laptops as they “prefer to use a larger screen when making purchases” (57%) and “typing a lot of personal information is difficult on a small screen” (43%).

The key drivers for booking via smartphones is being able to book anywhere (58%) and being more convenient than laptops/desktops (33%).

According to Criteo’s commissioned research, Singaporeans took an average of 5.2 trips in the last 12 months, with 63% taking five trips or fewer; almost half were mid-length stays of between three to six days. Over half (52%) of Singaporeans booked their trip between one and four months before departure, and are most likely to do so while at home (79%) on a weekend, although they would already have browsed on weekdays (56%). Other key findings on factors that affect their purchase include:

The biggest driver for online booking is convenience - 88% chose a combination of factors such as time-saving (54%) and being more convenient than a phone or physical booking (54%).

Price also plays a big part in the shift towards online travel purchases, with 44% of respondents believing that online travel providers and OTAs offer a better deal.

Half of all online travel purchases are for accommodation and air travel.
When purchasing online, Singaporeans are most likely to directly book via websites or apps of the airlines and/or lodging (52%) as it would be easier to change or cancel their booking (47%).
They also make direct purchases through OTAs (37%), as they say the website is easy to use (45%).

Online and mobile strategies are crucial for retailers and OTAs to engage with shoppers while they browse and book travel and ancillaries – 85% of shoppers have seen retargeted ads and 52% have clicked on them.

“As online and mobile purchases become more commonplace, travel businesses and OTAs need to invest more in personalised marketing. This means showing shoppers ads that are based on what they have been looking at and displaying recommendations that may complement what they have already purchased. This adds another element of discovery and up to 70% of online shoppers who are served ads in this way go on to view products they had not looked at previously. Retailers who get this right will be able to drive online conversions very effectively,” added Villani.


Read the WorkSmart Asia blog post on travel preferences in the Asia Pacific region

*The research process for this study utilises a top-down central research model with bottom-up intelligence to present a comprehensive and accurate picture of the macro-economic landscape and travel industry in Australia, mainland China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Both secondary research and primary research are employed in this study. The former includes desk research on publicly available information (such as official statistics, trade press); whilst the latter includes online consumer survey and trade interview discussions with stakeholders in the industry (such as travel agencies, trade associations). Trade data and information collected, where applicable, is validated and cross-checked through both primary and secondary research, with no reliance on any single source to ensure reliability and eliminate bias. The consumer survey was conducted in February 2017 across all 9 markets.

posted from Bloggeroid