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Show Me the Money: Do Nontransactional Sites Impact Bookings?

Show Me the Money: Do Nontransactional Sites Impact Bookings?

Nontransactional sites are a necessary stop for many online travel shoppers, influencing not only what travelers buy, but also where they buy it. Travelers who visit planning and reviews, metasearch or other types of nontransactional websites have a higher conversion rate than other visitors – but the trend only applies for suppliers, according to PhoCusWright’s Online Traffic and Conversion Report, Second Edition.

Air shoppers who visit both a nontransactional site and an airline supplier site convert at a much higher rate than other visitors. For example, airline website shoppers who also visit metasearch engines convert at 16%, while others convert at less than 10%. Those who visit nontransactional websites do not show any notable difference in conversion among OTA air shoppers.

The difference in conversion rates is less dramatic with hotel products, yet the trend still holds. Supplier websites still have higher conversion rates among nontransactional site visitors whereas OTAs generally do not. In fact, nontransactional site visitors often convert at a lower level on OTAs than other visitors.

The benefit of advertising on nontransactional websites may be stronger for suppliers than for OTAs, but value still exists for OTAs due to the substantial audience visiting these informational categories. Nearly a quarter of air shoppers interact with a lead generator, while more than a quarter of hotel shoppers visit a planning and reviews site.

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.


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