Ever wonder why online shoppers bounce around among OTA sites, meta searches and brand sites in the days and weeks prior to making a travel purchase? Or what each of the stops along this online journey from look to book reveals about where a traveler ultimately completes a hotel or flight booking?
NB This is a viewpoint by Wendy Olson Killion, director of product management for Expedia Media Solutions.
Expedia Media Solutions sought the answers to these questions, and a deeper understanding of the efficacy and value of using an attribution model to find them, by partnering with Millward Brown Digital to conduct a deep dive into the roles various travel sites play throughout each stage of the consumer path to purchase.
The resulting Traveler Attribution study shares key insights into how the various phases throughout this journey—inspiration, research and purchase—provide valuable opportunities for travel marketers to influence and steer shoppers to ultimately book with them. For travel brands, it paints a clear picture of where to most effectively direct marketing budgets and strategic partnerships.
Take, for example, the relationship between where consumers start looking into travel as the point of their initial inspiration, and where they ultimately end up making a purchase. There is a lot to be gleaned from that first click and the eventual point of booking.
Regardless of where air shoppers ultimately purchased their flights, the study found that OTAs were the point of inspiration nearly three times as often as meta sites. In some cases, OTAs were the inspiration point more often than even airline sites.
And for those who ultimately booked on an airline site, shoppers were 171 percent more likely to start on an OTA, compared to meta, as their inspiration point before making their purchase on the brand site.
Expedia also explored the complex middle phase of this journey, the research and consideration stage, in which shoppers move between OTAs, meta search and brand sites, to price compare and gather more details about their purchasing options.
It turns out, the order of the sites travel consumers visited in this middle phase has prescriptive attributes regarding where shoppers ended up making a purchase.
This is just a small sampling of the findings detailed in Expedia’s free webinar on the Traveler Attribution study, which you can watch by clicking here.
For even more detail, Expedia has released a new whitepaper, A Roadmap to Traveler Attribution, which you can access here, to further explore the insights and implications for travel marketers.
NB This is a viewpoint by Wendy Olson Killion, director of product management for Expedia Media Solutions. It appears here as part of Tnooz's sponsored content initiative.