It can be tough to get back into the daily grind after the silly season, especially if you’ve just come back from a week lounging around a resort in Fiji or hitting the slopes in Colorado. As people are getting back into the world of rush hour and deadlines, naturally their minds drift towards their next holiday in an attempt to beat their back-to-work blues.
Our new research reveals that there is a staggering 131 per cent increase in travel sales and a 133 per cent increase in visitors to travel websites at the beginning of January, when most people are returning to work. The research — taken from 15 million transactions between December 2015 and March 2016 — shows a huge uplift in sales on travel booking websites, showing that consumers aren’t just browsing, they’re following through and actually purchasing their next holiday.
This presents a huge opportunity for travel retailers to help consumers book their next adventure and lighten the mood around the office. Browsing of travel websites and booking remains high until late February with another spike around Easter — so now is the time for marketers to engage with potential holidaymakers and convert those sales. Here are some key strategies to help you do just that:
Have your social media strategy sorted
This is so vital. Criteo research shows that 38 per cent of buyers browse AU retailers’ websites via social sites before making a final purchase. With the path-to-purchase continually changing, travel websites need to maximise their social media strategies and continue to interact with customers as much as possible, especially at this time of year when the intent to purchase is so high.
Optimise your reach
One average, Facebook is home to 1.18 billion daily active users, presenting a huge opportunity for marketers to reach their target audience. Facebook ads can help you reach that audience at the right time, across a number of different devices.
Criteo has found that over the summer period there was a huge increase in sales and visitor volume as a result of using Facebook ads. One of the biggest advantages of advertising on Facebook is the ability to target very specific groups, helping to drive conversions and brand awareness.
Have an easy-to-use mobile site
Aussies like to book travel when they’re on the move. Between December 2015 and March 2016, mobile websites and apps held a 42 per cent of total travel bookings.
Australians looking for their next adventure are now browsing and booking across iPads, smartphones and desktops which means it’s crucial that marketers optimise their mobile sites and offer an excellent cross-device and in-app experience.
The summer period, particularly January, offers an unmissable opportunity to drive conversions in online travel sales. The time for marketers to act is now if they wish to make the most of the peak period, overtake their competitors and get the best ROI from their campaigns.
Pressy Sankaran, ANZ Commercial Director, Criteo