‘Travel sites can boost revenues by advertising competitors’

‘Travel sites can boost revenues by advertising competitors’

Websites selling travel can boost their revenues by advertising their competitors’ deals, says industry experts.

Intent Media claims to have contributed 10% of Icelolly.com’s overall revenue by introducing its “counter-intuitive” actions, including rivals’ ads.

The advertising specialist said the strategy was a risk but did not hinder conversion rates at the holiday comparison site.

A spokesperson said: “For the first time, a company focused on generating leads was engaging in truly counter-intuitive actions, such as running competitors’ promotions.

Richard Harris, Intent Media Co-Founder and CEO added: “Icelolly used our data science to identify and target upper-funnel users who are still shopping around. At this stage, competitive ads are a utility that help users find the information they need. They’re also a safe way to drive revenue from users who aren’t going to convert. Within a year, the 10% revenue spike was in the books – with no loss to their core revenue.”

Intent Media says the new idea of “co-opetition” has been driven by the retail sector, with tech giants like Amazon and Google among the adopters.

And with travel widely considered a low conversion industry, revenue management experts say travel sites can claw back funds by posting links to their competitors websites online as customers go through the inspiration part of the booking journey.

“In today’s travel business, it’s still commonly accepted that the average consumer will visit as many as 38 sites before making a deal,” Intent Media says as it makes its pitch for data science.

And at Amadeus’ recent Search Matters event in London, Sandro Cuzzolin head of strategic projects at Travel Audience had a similar message.

“Why do you want to show a competitor on your website?” he asked. “Because advertising looks the same as content. The user doesn’t care, they just want the most suitable offer.

“It’s better for the customer because you’re not pestering them with something they don’t need.”

Cuzzolin also said that advertising competitors would not hamper conversion rates and claimed that using the tactic would “monetise 100% of traffic, not 2%(an estimated conversion rate)”.

He also said companies can tailor the ads so that if they sell a lot of one destination, competitors ads for that destination are not shown.

“The platform allows you to decide which audience you want to monetise and who you don’t.”

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