Infographics Infographics, Insights | May 24, 2017

In the Nick of Time: Setting Sights on the Last Minute Traveler in a Digital Landscape

Nancy is inspired by her best friend’s travel blog on Instagram and decides to take a trip to Tokyo. Rob’s manager just informed him that he needs to travel to London on urgent business this weekend. Steve decides to take his family out on a weekend getaway to Disneyland. They’re all making eleventh-hour decisions about traveling, and more importantly, they’re making split-second choices about booking these trips. For travel brands and advertisers, these moments of swift decisions spell good fortune in the form of incremental revenue from their digital marketing efforts. Let’s shed some light on this.

In the US, 7% of all travel bookings are made less than three days before the date of travel. These travelers can be classified as last-minute travelers, and it’s safe to assume that “brand loyalty” isn’t a trait they possess during these spur-of-the-moment decisions. In fact, chances are that most of them haven’t even decided on their destination, making this an apt time for brands to capitalize on a moment of influence. Advertisers need to discover and reach out to these online users via the footprint of their online interactions as soon as travel plans are set in motion.

From this moment up until users book their tickets, the journey of a last-minute traveler is comprised of not only a series of crucial decisions and brand choices, but also a curious cross-device journey. The intent behind this is rather straightforward. Users are looking for the cheapest and most customized deals, and all you have to do to win them over is show up–literally.

Consumers are constantly comparing prices, switching between devices and relying on blogs, social media, and user reviews for inspiration. We analyzed booking data from 2.7 million users to understand their travel intent, booking website favorability, time trends, demographics, device use, geography, social trends, and top routes of travel to discover remarkable insights about last minute travelers and how they behave differently online compared to planned travelers and early bookers.

How can you reach this unique group of consumers? Read the whole insights report here.

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How can you reach this unique group of consumers? Read the whole insights report here.

With support from Keshav Parashar and Angana Sripur. Illustrated by Pratima Vaska.

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