Optimise or lose out in super-competitive 2011/12 peaks – QuBit

Travel websites that are poorly optimised for conversions stand to lose out in the 2011/12 turn-of-year peak selling period, web analytics specialist QuBit has warned.

QuBit managing director Graham Cooke said the window of opportunity for travel firms has been squeezed as a more cautious public puts more and more research into finding the best deal.

He predicted next year’s crucial first quarter trading period will be more fraught than ever due to the downturn’s impact on disposable incomes, and that only those companies with the most efficient sites will prosper.

“We are really focused on helping travel companies get ready for Q1, 2012,” he said. “It’s a really important time to get it right. What we are seeing anecdotally in retail in general is consumers are buying less this year.

“People are going to be more cautious and are going to be really thinking about their holidays carefully. If your website is throwing away your highly considered users you could be missing a big opportunity.”

Cooke said that while generalist retail sales are expected to start picking up in November, travel is seeing a much longer consideration period, meaning the prime time to covert will be squeezed into a shorter time frame.

He advised travel firms to concentrate less on delivering huge volumes of deals and more on increasing the quality their presentation with better descriptions or streaming video, even if that means a reduction in the number of deals on a page.

Cooke established QuBit with three former colleagues from Google in January last year using $1.4 million of private seed funding. It has a partnership with Google Analytics but claims its technology is tailored to the requirements of travel firms and offers much more detailed insights into customer behaviour.

“With more advanced technology we are getting businesses back to thinking about the profile of their customer – what are they like, what is their buying pattern? We are answering those questions that traditional analytics have not allowed us to answer.”

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