How the French get around – Travel habits of mobile users in France

travel-study
- May 08 2017
How the French get around – Travel habits of mobile users in France

As our mobile devices continue to become our go-to tools for navigating the world around us, everything from buying home insurance to the weekly shopping is increasingly being carried out on the move. Even travel plans are increasingly researched and confirmed this way, with a study carried out at the end of 2016 finding that 27 percent of all global online travel bookings were made on mobile devices. France is no exception to this trend; the same study revealed that the smartphone share of all bookings made by French travelers is now at 14%, a year-on-year growth of 43%.As our mobile devices continue to become our go-to tools for navigating the world around us, everything from buying home insurance to the weekly shopping is increasingly being carried out on the move. Even travel plans are increasingly researched and confirmed this way, with a study carried out at the end of 2016 finding that 27 percent of all global online travel bookings were made on mobile devices. France is no exception to this trend; the same study revealed that the smartphone share of all bookings made by French travelers is now at 14%, a year-on-year growth of 43%.
At Ogury, we decided to take a deeper look into the habits of French travelers in the only way we know how - through collecting and studying our trademark first party proprietary data unique to the platform. Working from a sample base of over 140,000 French Android users, our study looked at the search traffic and app usage for anything related to travel - including flights, hotels, buses, and car hire - for the four month period from mid January to mid April 2017.
The full report can be viewed on our site here (in French), but for anyone looking for a handy guide, some standout findings included:
- France's national state-owned railway company SNCF showed notably high engagement amongst web users, with 42% visiting more than six pages during each session
- Low cost airlines and their official apps are soaring above their more premium rivals, accounting for 65% of all downloaded airline apps
- In the French carpooling and car rental market, BlaBlaCar dominates app ownership, claiming 86% of all related applications owned, as well as 57% of all unique mobile web users

But the study not only looked at the journeys involved for our users, but also at their destinations. What we found might prove to be disheartening reading for hotel chains in the French market, as they have lost considerable traffic to booking sites such as Booking.com, Trivago, and Hotels.com. Private rental platform Airbnb also performed well amongst our sample group, coming in second in both mobile web and app traffic.
There was however a more positive take for travel and hospitality review site TripAdvisor, which clawed in a staggering 99% of downloads amongst all related review apps in the study period. 43% of all users visited the company’s site at least once, making it the most popular travel related site amongst our French mobile users.
Given such a broad remit, what conclusions for travel marketers targeting the French market were we able to draw? First and foremost, Friday appears to be the universal champion of peak traffic, coming out on top consistently throughout the period, while between 15:00 and 20:00 offers the best return in terms of daily timing. These however obfuscate a wider trend, as the average user journey clocked in at 25 days per user. As such, a longer-term strategy to capture user attention and ultimately purchases may well prove most fruitful.
It’s only through quality first party data that such observations can be qualified; something to bear in mind before embarking on any mobile user data journey of your own.

Download the Full Report