A new study finds that consumers are increasingly using online methods to book travel and make other purchases. The research was conducted by IDC Retail Insights and surveyed 1,500 consumers in the U.K, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden.
Travel figured very prominently in online sales with 47% of respondents saying that they had used the internet to make bookings. Travel experts expect this to be part of a growing trend of people booking holidays to the Greek islands in 2011 and other trips from their mobile phones and personal computers.
Richard Bray, of popular travel specialists Travelmatch, says: “This study reflects the changing nature of the travel market and commerce in general. The days of going down to a physical travel agent are ending, as it is far more convenient to use an online provider from the comfort of your own home. It is also a cost effective option, as lower infrastructure in the travel industry means we are able to pass better savings on to our customers.”
The report also revealed some trends in online shopping. Total online spending has increased 30% this year, while the highest spenders tending to be between 35 and 54 years of age. 10% of respondents were using their mobile phones to shop online, while a further 20% said they were planning to do so in the near future.
Bray, whose company provides online search results for great holiday deals, says: “These numbers clearly reflect a growing market, which travel providers, and retailers in general, need to be very aware of. It is particularly interesting to see the growth of mobile online purchases; people are now booking Kefalonia holidays or trips to Turkey from their iPhones or Blackberries.”
Bray concludes: “Perhaps the most exciting thing about this is that travel bookings are now at the customer’s convenience. Instead of heading in for an appointment with a travel agent, you can now do it from your home or your phone at whatever times suits you. At Travelmatch, we believe that this convenience makes travel a much more pleasant experience, and takes a lot of the stress out of heading out on vacation. We are very happy to be a part of this online trend and are excited to see more and more people booking travel online.”