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Just Looking: How Nontransactional Sites Measure Up

Just Looking: How Nontransactional Sites Measure Up

In the world of online travel, transactional websites are only part of the story – two-thirds of the story, to be exact. Supplier and online travel agency websites combine to attract two thirds of all travel category visitation, while nontransactional categories receive a third,  PhoCusWright’s Online Traffic and Conversion Report, Second Edition.

The ratio of visits between transactional and nontransactional sites has remained the same for the past three years. Yet despite the apparent state of equilibrium, individual categories have been in flux. Traffic volume to key transactional categories – including the top seven OTAs, airlines and hotel chain sites – fell in 2Q10. Among nontransactional categories, lead generators and planning and reviews sites attracted more visitors in 2Q10. But this increase was offset by a significant decline for travel guides and a more modest dip for metasearch sites.

The planning and reviews category shows the steepest and most stable growth trajectory over the past few years. Led by TripAdvisor, the category may soon overtake lead generators as the largest nontransactional category.

PhoCusWright and Compete Inc. partnered to measure and track the increasingly complex flow of Web traffic and bookings.  PhoCusWright’s Online Traffic and Conversion Report Second Edition studies two critical online consumer-behavior metrics: traffic (monthly unique visitors) and conversion (the percentage of monthly unique visitors who complete a transaction). Using these core metrics, the report analyzes major categories within the travel vertical, including both transactional and nontransactional sites. Individual products, such as air, hotel and car rental, are tracked to explore the dynamic between supplier sites and OTAs, as well as how nontransactional sites, such as deal publishers and review sites, affect conversion.

Early-bird pricing is in effect through March 31, 2010. Order through March 31 and save US$100 off the regular report price of $1,095.