There is little overlap between airline and hotel usage on Android, according to the latest analysis of user data by Strategy Analytics.
The panel of 1,500 users show little overlap when it comes to the two complementary travel categories, suggesting a split that could be aggressively leveraged by an over-the-top player such as Google. And given that company's close ties to Android, this is a compelling analysis for continued competition.
The graphic above shows each category — airline, hotel and OTA — and the relative overlaps between the categories. Those users with airline apps installed are most likely to have OTA apps installed, followed by users with hotel apps and OTA apps installed.
The most critical piece here is how little overlap there is from those who have OTA apps – those apps have become enough for the users' travel needs, and therefore they have little need for airline or hotel apps.
The report suggests how the over-the-top player could come in and add value across the spectrum, and thus further entrench itself in the lives of Android-based travelers. This would also be a threat to direct-to-supplier efforts on the hotel and airline side of the business:
Those using OTA apps to book trips are not using hotel or airline apps when traveling. Those using airline apps are unlikely to have ever used a hotel application. In an industry where cooperation could create a better consumer experience and improve the fortunes of all, the lack of cohesion could allow for the rise of over the top solutions that commoditize the travel experience at the expense of loyalty and future revenue streams.
Google is the primary focus here, given its powerful and widespread grip on some many facets of communication. Recently, it was announced that Google will search through email to offer instant updates on travel items — delayed flights, for example — as part of its enhanced Google Now product.
As this sort of information is surfaced through the Google machine, and then delivered concisely with a Google Now card, the consumer enjoys this over-the-top functionality. This means that challenging the power of such a player becomes more difficult with each consumer interaction.
Greater collaboration between hotel and airline players may indeed be necessary to to counter these plays. Brands that already have other relationships — loyalty or otherwise — should consider linking up to provide increased value to the traveler.
The full report (email required) is available here.
NB: Android mobile boarding pass image courtesy Shutterstock.