Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Are Travel Brands Failing to Capitalize on Own-Brand Traffic?

Travel marketers spend a huge amount of time trying to get people on to their brand’s booking channels but should they instead spend more time improving these channels? A new white paper suggests that closing the loop is the most profitable thing marketers can do

For every customer that makes a booking on your site, it is highly likely you have already digitally encountered them. That’s the conclusion of EyeforTravel’s new Understanding the Travel Consumer’s Path to Purchase white paper. It looks at real purchase data from more than a quarter of a million consumers across five countries and found that three quarters of consumers will visit and then leave a travel site, before coming back to it to complete their purchase.

The research looked at Online Travel Agency (OTA), airline and hotel verticals, tracking the 15 sites a consumer looks at before they make a purchase. OTA sites were visited between 73% and 78% of the time before conversion, airlines between 69% and 84%, and hotels between 69% and 70%. This suggests that all types of travel brands should aim to convert these visitors first time and optimizing their sites so that consumers don’t feel the need to shop around.

This is particularly the case for hotel brands, as the white paper finds that their conversion rates lag noticeably behind airline and OTA desktop conversion rates in Brazil, India and Germany. Furthermore, across all geographies both airline and hotel brands have substantially lower conversion rates for mobile bookings in comparison with  OTAs.

“Reportedly, travel purchases in Q4 2016 had an above average abandonment rate of 82%,” said Alex Hadwick, Head of Research at EyeforTravel, “and I think that this research reinforces the importance of getting the fundamentals right so that rate reduces. Travel brands need to get their own-brand site right across all devices because this is one of the most cost-effective ways of driving better profitability, especially as, typically, half of users will abandon a site if it takes more than two or three seconds to load.”

EyeforTravel and Jumpshot tracked more than a quarter of a million travel purchasers across five countries through clickstream data and consumer surveys to build a picture of the path to purchase. The white paper details the how, where and why of the decisions people make before they book, and identifies what travel brands should be doing to capture market share.


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