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U.S. business travelers make more money than the average American, and stand at the online intersection of hotel and airline loyalty programs and the non-travel brands seeking to influence their shopping behaviors.
That’s the premise of a survey on business travelers’ spending habits from Adara, a travel data company, which found that 78% of business travelers do more than half of their shopping online (compare this to the 59% of leisure travelers and 34% of non-travelers). Also consider the fact that business travelers use smartphones to shop online 20% more than leisure travelers and tablets 18% more than leisure travelers and it’s clear where the spending potential exists. These findings come from 1,200 U.S. business, leisure and non-travelers Adara surveyed during December 2014.
Besides electronics and clothing as the top items purchased online by business travelers they’re also looking for more intangible items such as insurance and and banking products as their higher incomes allow them more flexibility to make a change if they’re not completely satisfied, said Bernie Yu, a marketing spokesperson for Adara.
The survey didn’t ask respondents for their income levels but U.S. Travel Association data indicates the average median household income for business travelers in 2012 was $87,500 versus $52,800 for the general U.S. population.
“Business travelers tend to have more options put in front of them because of their incomes and they’re also not necessarily satisfied with the products that they have now such as banking,” said Yu. “From the loyalty programs they’re members of they’re getting cross-marketed to by insurance companies and financial institutions more frequently than non-business travelers because of all the partnerships their loyalty programs have with companies in other verticals.”
Some 30% of respondents from the business traveler cohort said they’re likely to switch banks during the next year, more than the 14% of travelers and 3% of non-travelers who said they’re considering a switch. The same percentage of business travelers also said they’re mulling a change with their home insurance provider and 40% said they’re likely to switch their mobile phone carrier during the next year.
And thinking big-ticket items: two-thirds of business travelers say they’ll buy a new car in the next year and want to be somewhat sustainable about it (20% want a new electric vehicle).