Getting and retaining loyal app users remains a challenge for many travel brands. But for those who succeed, the benefits are clear: app users tend to be highly engaged and spend more money in-app. This chart (excerpted from our Mobile Travel Report) breaks down the top travel apps in the App Store and Google Play Store over four weeks in September.
Several key findings:
- • The top three travel apps Airbnb, Booking.com and United reign supreme on both stores.
- • As a category, OTAs (online travel agencies) pull the lion’s share of app installs. Expedia’s app consistently ranks 2nd behind Booking.com. The Trivago app ranks much higher on Android, while Apple users prefer to download Hopper and TripAdvisor.
- • If you combine installs of the Fly Delta iPhone app and the iPad version, it adds up to more downloads than the United app (which would rank it as the top airline app in the App Store).
- • Hilton Honors is at the top of the pack for hotel apps, but Marriott competes more closely with Hilton in the App Store than in the Android Store.
Spotlight: Priceline Shows App Growth
The Priceline Group started its year with a bang, with accommodation bookings growing by 27.4% in Q1. Booking.com, Priceline’s largest property, consistently maintained the #1 spot in both the App Store and the Play Store. However, their smaller brand, Priceline, also showed a surprising bump in app installs at the end of September, surpassing Travelocity in the Play Store and Trivago in the App Store.
The growth of the Priceline app could be due to a number of factors, but it’s clear that the Priceline Group is continuing to invest in this app on top of their star player, Booking.com.
The Priceline homepage prominently features a “text a download link” box, and unlike Travelocity (who Priceline eclipsed in the Play Store last month) Priceline.com directs visitors to download their app at the very top of their mobile website.
Engagement with travel apps is expected to continue rising, as more travelers seek convenient ways to book flights and accommodations on-to-go. The question is not only what services will get more app installs — but who be able to keep those users, through strong loyalty incentives, ease of use and engaging in-app experience.
This post is excerpted from our full Mobile Travel Apps & Trends Report — Click Here to Download.