Business travellers driving online retail for high value goods, says ADARA

New research reveals that four in five business travellers do more than half of their shopping online and are three and a half times as likely to have spent over $1,000 online in the past six months compared to non-travellers. The study by ADARA, a leader in leveraging global travel data to drive future business performance, demonstrates business traveller preferences for high value items including wearable devices, personal insurance and electric or hybrid vehicles.

Business travellers are frequently on the move and as a result, they are much more reliant on connected devices and engaging with online content than the average population. At least nine in 10 business travellers rely on their smartphone (90%) and tablet (95%) to complete purchase activity and the time business travellers spend online on mobile devices is 40% higher than the general population. Seven in 10 business travellers (68%) regularly use social media and this audience spends less than half the time watching TV as the general population.

Elizabeth Harz, president of media, ADARA, said: “Business travellers are a desirable target group for marketers looking to promote higher value products. They are twice as likely as the average consumer to earn salaries over $100,000 and rely on online media much more heavily when making purchase decisions. Having a clear understanding of how to engage this group with online content and when the best time is to capture their attention can yield significant impact for marketers.”

Business travellers are keen to switch their financial products and favour credit card rewards schemes

 Approximately a third of business travellers will consider switching their bank (32%) and home insurance provider (41%) on a regular basis compared to 17% and 27% of leisure travellers respectively. Further, they are much more likely to take out life insurance compared to leisure travellers with 63% investing in this compared to just 23%.

Credit card rewards are also of particular appeal to the business traveller community. Seven in ten (69%) cite this as one of the key factors influencing a purchase decision. And consequently, this group is more than twice as likely to have an American Express card and 46% more likely to own a premium credit card than the leisure travellers.

40% of business travellers identify themselves as early tech adopters

Electronic goods are one of a business travellers’ prime purchases with two in three (63%) spending money on technology products compared to only 46% of non-travellers.

Connected technologies hold a particular appeal to the business traveller market and marketing should be targeted accordingly. For example, 13% of business travellers own a wearable device and 22% plan to buy one in the next six months compared to 8% and 13% of leisure travellers respectively. Similarly, 16% of business travellers already own a smart watch and 18% intend to buy one in the next six months compared to 10% and 10% of leisure travellers respectively.

Business travellers are five times more likely to own a car worth more than $35,000 than the average non-traveller

Automotive marketing is heavily biased towards key target groups and of course those who are considering making a purchase. For business travellers, buying a new car is high on the agenda with over half (56%) looking for a new vehicle within the next year. This compares to only (38%) of leisure travellers and an eighth (12%) of non-travellers. One in five business travellers plan to buy an electric vehicle and one in four, a hybrid vehicle.

One in four (24%) own a sports car or coupe compared to 13% and 9% of leisure travellers and non-travellers respectively. One in eight (12%) will also own a luxury saloon compared to 6% and 3% of non-business travellers and non-travellers respectively. These figures should help steer luxury car manufacturers to focus more attention on the business traveller market.

Three in four (74%) business travellers have purchased luxury goods in the last 30 days

This compares to less than one in two leisure travellers (48%) and only one in ten non-travellers (11%). Business travellers are twice as likely to purchase high-end jewellery as leisure travellers (29% and 16% respectively). Similarly, they are almost twice as likely to purchase a luxury watch (39% and 23% respectively).

The research proves that business travellers are an affluent, tech-savvy, loyal audience and therefore need to be considered as part of a brand’s overall marketing strategy, said ADARA.