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    Connected commuters use trains as offices, cinemas and shopping malls

    Who said traditional media was dead? Rail users are spending half their journey time on a connected device – often prompted to buy things by marketing ads on posters, according to research by KBH On-Train Media, the UK’s largest on-train media company.

    The Dipsticks study (2015) of more than 2000 rail users aged between 18 and 64, travelling at least weekly, looks into the behaviour of rail users and reveals a truly connected audience with 92% of travellers owning a smartphone and 90% using the device while on a train.

    Regular travellers are increasingly using the carriage as an office, living room or shopping mall with half of the journey time spent on a connected device. Travellers spend an average of 20 minutes per journey on a mobile, tablet or laptop with 58% listening to music, 43% emailing or working and 26% browsing retailers online.

    The most popular time for respondents to have purchased a service or product they’d seen on an on-train ad was later the same day (29%); 28% had done so immediately while still on the train and 27% said they had made a traincard-prompted purchase ‘a few days later’.

    While shopping on a train online, rail travellers are most likely to buy clothes with a quarter of respondents browsing fashion retail sites and almost a fifth (18%) purchasing from fashion retailers whilst on the train. While travelling by train, Paypal is the preferred form of payment on a mobile phone with 52% of travellers most likely to use the service compared to 45% opting for a debit or credit card. According to the research, mobile wallet and payment apps are yet to penetrate with only 2% saying they would use these for an on-train online purchase.

    Despite spending time on connected devices, the average rail user is also fully aware of their surroundings with a huge 94% of respondents noticing traincard advertising. Of those, 48% have researched or looked up something they saw advertised, 33% spoke to someone about an on-train ad they’d seen and 24% bought something they saw advertised on-board.

    The combination of increased connectivity, dwell-time and on-train advertising messages are working effectively to drive product consideration and purchase, both immediately and in the longer term.

    Ian Reynolds, Managing Director, KBH On-Train Media, said: “As the number of rail users continues to steadily increase, the variety of activities they’re carrying out while on-board is also expanding. With pressure on commuters’ time greater than ever, we have found that on-train time is active time, with journeys used to work, shop, plan leisure activities and catch up on the latest entertainment.

    “With traincards, brands and advertisers have a key opportunity to target connected consumers at an increasingly rare point when they actually have the time and ability to research, browse and make decisions. As connectivity on trains rises with increased investment in Wi-Fi, we expect to see rail users capitalise on these improvements, making the most of every journey.”

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