How Travel Companies Can Capitalize on the Holiday Travel Rush

With the summer vacation season winding down, consumers are turning their attention to the holidays and end-of-year travel. The holidays are a notoriously busy time for the travel industry, and many consumers have already begun booking flights, hotels and other accommodations to lock in the best rates.

Each year, consumers complete 148.3 million travel bookings online totaling roughly USD $524 billion. For travel companies, the surge in search/browse/buy volume that occurs during the holiday season presents both an opportunity and a challenge.

Travelers search far and wide across several different devices in search of the best value for their dollar. You’ve probably heard the term, “abandoned journey”, which may sound like a euphemism for a vacation gone awry, but actually describes a site or app visit that doesn’t produce a booking. Imagine a consumer visits your website, searches for a flight, selects a departure and return trip, but never buys. Well, you actually don’t have to imagine because it happens all the time. In a case like this, given strong buy signals from the consumer, your company may want to invest in pulling her back to your site to complete the purchase.

To put this in perspective, today’s average consumer moves between devices up to 21 times an hour and uses 3 or more devices to complete a task. With such a degree of fragmentation, travel companies need a way to infer which devices belong to consumers, households and segments of value. That way they can personalize content across devices, moving a consumer through a journey with relevant content that will entice them to purchase.

Cross-device retargeting nudges consumers down the funnel, but in most cases that just gets them back to your site or app, which means it’s also important that those properties are driving conversions. If consumers are churning after you’ve invested in pulling them back to your owned and operated channels, you have a problem.

To gauge this phase of the journey, travel companies use a metric called revenue per search (RPS), which indicates the revenue contribution generated by a single search. Companies with high RPS are those driving purchases at lower costs, which means they tend to perform stronger on cross-device personalization. In this way, RPS works as a measure of the overall quality -- or relevance -- of the end-to-end experience a company is providing for each consumer, from initial touch point to site-side content.

Leveraging a cross-device graph can boost RPS by helping you personalize across upper and lower-funnel events, including organic search, meta search, paid media impressions and site visitation. The result? A more relevant brand experience for your customer, equating to more bookings at higher margins for your company during the most wonderful time of the year.

To help you navigate this tricky period and convert more interest into business, we’ve put together a couple of resources, including:

  • Cross-Device Marketing Guide for Travel Companies: Lots of travel consumers abandon their journeys before they make a purchase. This guide will help you pull consumers back into your conversion funnel and drive purchases.
  • Travel Byline in MediaPost: In this byline, Drew McCalmont, VP of Product Strategy and Operations at Tapad, shares how marketers can map out the best strategy to connect with customers by getting to know their behavior and cross-device habits.  

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