Navigate Your Traveler’s Journey Using Mobile Data

Aug 21, 2019

Alexandra Matthews

With summer in full swing, we all have one thing on the top of our minds: summer vacation! Mobile connection has made it easier than ever to be out of the office without being out of pocket. The average consumer spends approximately five hours a day on their phone, and these habits don’t stop once someone is on vacation or traveling for work. In fact, Americans spend more of their vacation time on their phones than relaxing in the pool.

But not all travelers seek the same adventure. With various deals, promotions and seemingly endless options for monitoring price updates right from a mobile phone, summertime travel can be shaped to fit everyone’s budget and interests. 

So how can travel brands better understand the travel-seeking consumer to attract and engage with the ones who are most likely to have an affinity to their service or product? The answer – uncover the insights within jet-setters’ mobile journey while they plan (and embark on) their physical journey, to understand your traveler’s behavior. 

The Airline Loyalist 

Seemingly everyone has airline loyalties – and nearly half of loyalty program members have that airline’s app installed on their phone, according to J.D. Power. So which airlines are travelers most loyal to?

Ogury’s consented first-party mobile journey data reveals that Allegiant Airlines has the highest exclusive audience percentage for app activity. 69 percent of the airline app owners and site visitors only engage with Allegiant and no other airline. In addition to the exclusive audience, Allegiant app users are most active at 83 percent.

Compare this to American Airlines, which shares 58 percent of users with competitor apps – the highest shared audience percentage for app activity among the group analyzed. However, despite large shared ownership, as you can see below, the American Airlines site and app users have the most amount of sessions.

Looking at app and site usage in silos is not enough to give airlines and brands a holistic understanding of their travelers. The real story is in the journey. 

Consumers who own the American Airlines, United, and Delta apps are mostly business travelers, with their most commonly used apps falling under the finance and business categories. These business-level travelers also tend to use apps such as MileagePlus GO Prepaid and MiCrew, for a seamless business travel experience.

Compare this with the app owners for Spirit, Frontier, and Allegiant. Unlike the business-minded travelers that would frequent American Airlines, United or Delta, these consumers are far more likely to be more cost-conscious. Their top apps fall under the travel or local categories, such as Settle UP Group Expenses and FlightHub Book Cheap Flights to monitor their spending while enjoying their travel.

Airlines can leverage this data to identify and attract the most interactive and qualified users, in addition to reaching more unique individuals for app usage. 

The Deal Seeker 

Ogury’s data shows that while some travelers are brand loyal to their carrier of choice, there’s plenty of room to capitalize on the ‘airline switchers’. These users care more about finding a good deal than staying loyal to a single airline. With July being the busiest travel month of the year, I ran a comparison of user behavior on third-party price aggregator apps last July. The results, pulled from Ogury Active Insights, are below.

Ogury data revealed that Booking.com was on top of the list in terms of market share, but was below average when it came to time spent in-app. Expedia’s app had the second highest market share, and its users spent over three times longer on its app per session than they did on the number one market shareholder, Booking.com. 

These findings highlight that market share alone isn’t indicative of where users spend their time and can’t be a marketer’s benchmark when examining the value of mobile journeys. Expedia also had double the amount of sessions per user than Booking.com, with Orbitz taking first place in sessions per user, with twice as many sessions as the watchlist average.

While some travelers elect to use an airline’s app, it is also commonplace for travelers to use an aggregator app to book a ticket and then continue their mobile journey on the airline’s app itself. Marketers must look beyond singular behaviors in order to uncover opportunities to capitalize on qualified travelers at their points of purchase. 

Ogury works with marketers to identify ideal travelers for your brand and deliver relevant and timely marketing messages based on each individual mobile journey. By only collecting consented signals and generating real-time device-level data, we enable brands to navigate their traveler’s journey. 

Are you ready to better connect with travelers by looking at their mobile journeys? Send me a note at elizabeth.primm@ogury.co and we’ll embark on the adventure together! 

Elizabeth Primm, VP, Brand Partnerships