comScore, a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its Full Year and Q4 2012 U.S. travel e-commerce sales estimates. For the full 2012 year, U.S. travel e-commerce sales reached $103 billion, an increase of 9 percent versus the prior year. Air Travel accounted for nearly two-thirds of all travel spending while growing 10 percent vs. year ago.
“Travel is a leading online commerce category, and despite being a pioneer in the sector 15 years ago it is still growing at nearly double-digit growth rates and remains very competitive,” said John Mangano, VP of comScore Marketing Solutions for Retail and Travel. “With the online channel driving such a high percentage of dollars within the broader travel industry, understanding the competitive landscape is essential to determining the most effective sales and marketing strategies.”
Top Airline Sites in 2012
Once again, Southwest Airlines led all airline sites in 2012 with 20 percent of category page views, up slightly from the prior year. Delta Airlines ranked second at 15.5 percent of page views, followed by United Airlines at 14.7 percent (up 4.9 percentage points), American Airlines at 13.2 percent and US Airways at 3.4 percent.
Top Online Travel Agent Sites in 2012
Expedia Inc. (which includes Hotwire) ranked as the top property in the Online Travel Agents category with 31.6 percent of all category page views, followed by Priceline.com Inc. (17.3 percent) and Orbitz Worldwide (12.9 percent). Fareportal Media Group, which includes CheapoAir, ranked fourth at 9.2 percent, while Travelocity rounded out the top five at 7.6 percent. Recent 2012 IPO Kayak.com was one of the biggest share gainers in the category, jumping 2.2 percentage points to 6.9 percent share of all page views.
Top Hotel & Resort Sites in 2012
Marriott led the Hotels & Resorts category in 2012 with 11.7 percent of all category page views, roughly on par with its share in 2011. InterContinental Hotels Group ranked second with 7.9 percent share (up 3.5 points), followed by Wyndham Worldwide at 7.5 percent. Hilton Hotels (7.0 percent) and VRBO.com (6.5 percent) rounded out the top five.
“Interestingly, not all sites are equally effective in turning page views into transactions,” added Mangano. “In some instances we see that sites require greater engagement to get to a booking, while others serve more as a venue for comparison pricing but lose out on the sale as their visitors go to other sites to book. So while winning the traffic battle is an important part of customer acquisition, travel companies who optimize their strategies at other phases of the funnel are the ones who ultimately drive the greatest conversion.”