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Handheld trumps desktop for the first time as bookings soar to 50%

Dec 3 2014 Posted by Samantha Marsh

Pitchup.com mobile growth significantly outperforms industry

Just 12 months since outdoor accommodation specialist Pitchup.com launched its first mobile site and app, handheld devices have now become the key booking platform constituting 50% of sales.

The IMRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking Report published on Monday shows that between August and October 2014, 37% of online sales were made via a smartphone or tablet, up from 27% during the same period in 2013.* However Pitchup.com far exceeds this industry trend, achieving 42% of its online sales via handheld devices during the period, a rise from 29% last year.

Commenting, founder of Pitchup.com Dan Yates says: “Previous reluctance to book via mobiles appears to be falling away as we saw 17% of consumers confidently booking holidays via mobile in the last quarter. With the industry standard for mobile bookings sitting at 8% of online sales, businesses should seriously consider smartphones as a primary sales driver.”

According to IMRG, ‘m-retail’ rose 11% from September to October 2014, the strongest monthly rise for this period since the mobile index launched in 2011**. The growth figures are supported by recent ABTA research showing that 18% of online bookers now book by tablet compared to 10% in 2013, and 17% by mobile (up from 13%), while desktop fell from 97% to 93%.***

Yates continues “We believe Pitchup.com’s launch of a dedicated mobile site and apps last year has led to more than 53% of traffic over the past month coming from handheld devices - up from 28% last year - and during the first half of November, mobile and tablet bookings exceeded half of bookings for the first time.”

Pitchup.com reveals some of its top ‘m-retail’ stats, based on the last 12 months:

  • The most popular day for people booking on the site via tablet is Sunday, while Monday is the preferred day for those using mobile or desktop.

  • Those booking via tablet are likely to spend more, with the average value per tablet booking 4% higher than average. This compares to 2% higher for desktop bookings and 16% lower for mobile bookings.

  • The average length of stay for a desktop customer is 3.2 nights, compared to 3.1 nights for tablet and 2.6 mobile.

  • When looking at lead-in booking times, the average mobile phone booking is made 21 days in advance of stay. Tablet users on average book 29 days before arrival and desktop users an average of 30 days before arrival.

Dan Yates concludes: “These statistics have come as a surprise. While we always expected bookings via handheld devices to overtake desktop, previous trends suggested that this would not happen until next summer.  Owners of new devices are clearly keen to put them through their paces: usage has intensified after tablet ownership almost doubled this year from 24% to 44% of UK adults, and smartphone ownership rose from 51% to 61%. ****

“This really shows the power of handheld devices.  We saw indications of them performing well back in the summer but this is the first time that we’ve seen a sustained period where handheld bookings have exceeded desktop. With Christmas coming and even more people likely to own tablets come the New Year, bookings via these devices will no doubt surge further.”

*IMRG and IMRG press release, 1st December 2014 (http://www.imrg.org/index.php?catalog=1536)

**IMRG press release, 17th November 2014 (http://www.imrg.org/index.php?catalog=1469)

***ABTA press release, 23rd September 2014 (http://abta.com/news-and-views/news/booking-via-tablets-surges)

****Communications Market Report 2014, Ofcom (http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/market-data/communications-market-reports/cmr14/?a=0)

For more information visit www.pitchup.com.  

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For media information:

Cass Helstrip or Samantha Marsh at White Tiger PR

Cass.helstrip@whitetigerpr.com 07968 255464

Samantha.marsh@whitetigerpr.com 07711 265666

About Pitchup.com

Founded in 2009 by former lastminute.com man, Dan Yates, multi-award winning Pitchup.com is a free guide to all types of outdoor accommodation in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Croatia, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland and Switzerland.  Pitchup.com, which currently lists over 5,800 sites, provides users with a simple platform in which they can search and book an outdoor holiday with total ease: the customer journey from landing on the homepage through to booking a holiday can be completed in as little as four pages.  The site also goes beyond traditional searches by allowing users to search for accommodation based on more than 80 criteria, such as adults only and campfires allowed, and view nearby events, Good Pub Guide pubs and VisitBritain attractions.  It’s also possible to check out water bathing water quality in the surrounding area with data provided by the European Environment Agency.  Users can also search on the offers page to find the best deals available.

In 2013 Pitchup.com became the first business of its type to launch a bookable mobile app and site, making the site easily accessible to users of mobile and tablet devices.  The mobile site, m.pitchup.com, now accounts for 21% of bookings.

Pitchup.com enables users to search for all types of parks and sites from the major brands right through to one-off campsites and unique outdoor accommodation options, which may not have previously had a web presence.

Awards include Best UK Travel Website of the Year at the British Travel Press Awards 2011, and most recently Best Travel / Leisure / Sports / Mobile Strategy / Campaign at the Marketing on Mobile Awards 2014.