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Looking at where and how consumers are booking travel has become a proven indicator of coming commerce trends.
The number of travel bookings that take place on smartphones and tablets are set to grow 60 percent in 2014, according to a new eMarketer report. Looking further into the future, mobile travel sales are forecasted to grow from $16.4 billion in 2013 to $64.7 billion in 2018.
Although bookings on smartphones and tablets remain less than a quarter, or 18 percent, of all digital travel sales, mobile is driving the current growth in the digital sector.
There are distinct use cases for when consumers use each kind of device. For example, last-minute smartphone sales are the fastest growing type of mobile transactions.
The report elaborates, “Smartphone sales typically involve smaller transactions, for one-night hotel stays or emergency, short-term car rentals, for example.
On the other hand, as tablets replace desktop and laptop computers in the home environment, consumers will be more likely to book larger transactions and longer trips on their tablets as opposed to their PCs.”
Because digital travel sales were one of the earlier forms of e-commerce, it is now growing at a slower pace than the overall retail e-commerce industry. However, it is quickly gaining share of the m-commerce market.
Travel currently accounts for 28.8 percent of all U.S. B2C m-commerce sales, totaling $58.5 billion in 2013, according to the eMarketer report.
Its share is expected to increase to 32.8 percent of the almost $200 billion market by 2018.