Retail and Travel Site Visitation Aligns As Consumers Plan and Book Vacation Packages

New Study from Expedia Media Solutions and Millward Brown Digital, formerly Compete, Analyzes Path to Purchase of Vacation Package Purchasers

*Updated the Expedia Group Media Solutions brand name and description in 2019. All other data reflects the 2013 publish date. For updated information on the reach of Expedia Group’s various points of sale, please see: https://advertising.expedia.com/audience. For updated data on the travel shopper’s path to purchase, please see: https://info.advertising.expedia.com/travel-consumers-path-to-purchase-research-for-marketers 

BELLEVUE, Wash., August 26, 2013 — A new study from Expedia Group Media Solutions, the global digital advertising organization  of Expedia Group, revealed that internet usage and online content consumption spike during the vacation package planning and booking phases. The findings also identified a unique correlation between the frequency of visits to retail and travel sites.

The Traveler’s Path to Purchase study, commissioned by Expedia Group Media Solutions and conducted by Millward Brown Digital, formerly Compete, examined the 45-day period leading up to a vacation package booking to determine what the US consumer’s path to purchase looks like. It identified online consumption habits of the average vacation package booker who had visited an online travel agency (OTA) and a destination marketing organization (DMO). Key trends identified by the report include:

•    OTA’s Pertinent to All Phases of Booking Process: The study found that OTAs were used for more than just last minute price comparisons. Only 35 percent of all OTA visits the week of a package booking occurred the same day as the booking, implying that additional research was conducted during that time period.

•    General and Travel Content Consumption Spike During Purchase Path: The study revealed that as consumers got closer to booking a vacation package, overall internet usage increased, with travel content showing the biggest jump. Consumers made 38 visits to travel sites in the 45 days leading up to a package booking, but consumption of travel content more than doubled during the week of booking. On average, they made over 16 website visits on the day of booking, 30 percent of which were to travel sites, which includes everything from OTAs to hotel, airline and review sites.

•    Retail and Travel Site Consumption Patterns Align: In the 45 days leading up to a package booking, retail sites were visited almost as frequently as travel sites. Vacation bookers visited retail websites 36.6 times in the 45-day path to purchase period, while travel sites were visited 38 times. During the week of booking, however, retail site visitation dropped while travel site visitation peaked. By leveraging a travel site partnership, a retail brand could potentially remain top of mind for consumers throughout the entire 45-day period.

•    DMO Visitation Patterns and the Billboard Effect: While OTAs dominated the pre-booking research landscape in the travel category, with over 47 percent of site visits, DMO visits grew to over six-percent – a 30 percent increase since 2010. Travelers checking DMO sites prior to visiting an OTA site converted 32 percent higher nine to 24 days ahead of booking. Alternatively, outside of that select time period, travelers visiting DMO sites did not convert as well, illustrating that a partnership between OTAs and DMOs has the potential to drive conversions and be mutually beneficial for both parties.

“Through this study we’re able to better understand what the overall purchase path looks like – from the initial research phase through to the booking process – and how we can develop dynamic products and solutions that will help our partners stay top-of-mind with consumers,” said Noah Tratt, global vice president, Expedia Media Solutions. “We’re continuously sharing knowledge with our partners with the goal of creating a synergistic relationship that also delivers a relevant and dynamic user experience.”

To view the entire Traveler’s Path to Purchase study please visit http://bit.ly/14QjnBB

About Expedia Group Media Solutions

Expedia Group Media Solutions is dedicated to building innovative media partnerships for travel advertisers enabling them to leverage Expedia Group’s network of leading travel brands and global sites. With a growing product portfolio of advertising and sponsorship opportunities, Expedia Group Media Solutions has revolutionized the way brands reach and connect with online travel consumers. 

About Expedia, Inc.

Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) is the largest online travel company in the world, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes some of the world’s leading online travel brands, including:

•    Expedia.com®, the world’s largest full service online travel agency, with localized sites in 31 countries

•    Hotels.com®, the hotel specialist with sites in more than 60 countries

•    Hotwire®, a leading discount travel site that offers opaque deals in 13 countries on its 12 sites in North America, Europe and Asia

•    Egencia®, the world’s fifth largest corporate travel management company

•    eLongTM, the second largest online travel company in China

•    Venere.comTM, the online hotel reservation specialist in Europe

•    trivago®, a leading online hotel search company with sites in 39 countries

•    Expedia Local Expert®, a provider of in-market concierge services, activities and experiences in 18 markets worldwide

•    Classic Vacations®, a top luxury travel specialist

•    Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®, one of North America’s leading retail cruise vacation experts

The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in- market travel consumers through Expedia Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world’s leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia® Affiliate Network. For corporate and industry news and views, visit us at www.expediainc.com or follow us on Twitter @expediainc