Airbnb, Booking.com, HomeAway/VRBO and TripAdvisor are the fastest apps among the travel and hospitality apps, according to the latest Travel App Performance Index published by PacketZoom, the mobile app content delivery company. Expedia, Priceline, Hotwire and Trip.com ranked as the slowest.
The study examined the speed at which each app’s content loaded for consumers to be able to conduct a search. Airbnb’s app offers a time-to-search period of just 2.1 seconds, whilst Homeaway/VRBO came second at 2.2 seconds, followed by Hotels.com (2.3 seconds) and Booking.com (2.6 seconds).
In comparison, apps from Expedia took 5.4 seconds to load and Hotwire even took 7.1 seconds. These speeds are below average and could be dangerous. According to Compuware research, most consumers prefer apps to load content within 2 seconds.
Shlomi Gian, PacketZoom CEO, explains that app performance is key and that’s particularly true for travel apps.
“Consumers have come to expect speedy content downloads, and when it takes too long they don’t necessarily blame the networks or external factors – they blame the apps, and they’ll close out of them or sometimes even uninstall them altogether when things are too slow. It is crucial that app developers do all they can to make sure that their apps don’t experience any undue delays.”
As a good indicator of overall speed total static images and static content size were also examined as part of the Travel App Performance Index
However, PacketZoom cautions that a lower number of images and small content size aren’t necessarily correlational due to varying network conditions.
In addition, faster apps can still be boosted further with a speed increase of up to 60% in time-to-search by integrating in-app mobile network technologies.
“Using a mobile app on the go means users have to depend on changing and unreliable network conditions, and roaming only enhances network challenges and the expense. Per PacketZoom’s Mobile Observatory data, the discrepancies between countries and geographical locations have big impact on the user’s mobile app experience. Our data shows Canada and the US with about 5-6% of session disconnects, versus 7.3% in India, 8% in Mexico, 9.5% in China and as high as 13% on average in Russia.”