Google Barometer offers insight into consumer buying behaviour in travel

By Travolution
By Travolution
October 24, 2014 11:59 AM GMT

Google launched the 2014 version of its free consumer barometer, offering insight into the behaviour of users around the globe in various verticals including flights and hotels.

The Consumer Barometer 2014 also offers data on device ownership and usage in various markets, customer research behaviour and the influence of video.

Key UK insights include:

·        Only a fifth of leisure flight bookers and a third of hotel leisure bookers became aware of the product or offer online. Yet 84% purchased flights online, 79% purchased hotel rooms, 85% researched flights online, and 81% researched hotels.

·        For flights, the highest proportion of users (31%) said they considered two brands before making the purchase decision, whereas for hotels people tended to consider more brands with 22% saying three and 15% five or more.

·        Internet users in the UK are the most likely in Europe to have only researched their last purchase online - 28% did so on average across 10 product categories, compared with 18% across Europe.

·        Smartphones are now a significant way for people in the UK to research products online - particularly for the younger generations. Some 38% of under 24s researching purchases online in the UK used smartphones, compared to an average of 21% across all age groups.

·        Half of people consult brand websites when researching online and 35% use retailer websites for flights and 28% for hotels. Social media sites perform poorly (3% flight, 5% hotels) while advice and review sites are outperformed by price comparison sites.

·        Offline research behaviour shows word of mouth dominant, with family, friends and others consulted by a quarter of people for flights and hotels. In-store research came next ahead of media like television and radio, print and billboards.

Now in its fourth year, the barometer offers digital marketers in-depth insights for 46 countries.

Other verticals profiled include: clothing and footwear, home appliances, cosmetics and groceries. Google said new sectors will be added in the future.

Peter Cory, agency sales director at Google, said: “People now use digital media for a huge array of purposes but it isn’t always easy to tell what channels and activities are the most effective, particularly if you’re dealing with multiple markets and products.

“Our latest Consumer Barometer captures a vast array of new consumer research and enables anyone to easily explore how consumers are behaving in this brave new digital world.”

Chris Binns, managing partner and joint head of planning at agency Mediacom, said: “Being able to unpick the relationship between consumers’ online and offline behaviour and compare insights across different countries and categories is becoming increasingly important to planners.

“The new Google Consumer Barometer offers vast sample sizes and complete data sets for a huge range of markets - a level of detail I’ve never seen before. The fact this is all available for free in a simple-to-use format means it will certainly play a valuable role in Mediacom’s planning going forward.”

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