Travel search engine Sidestep has seen an immediate uplift in traffic following its official launch in the UK & Ireland in September.
The site is understood to have grown traffic levels by between 10 and 15% in the past two weeks and is closing in on 600,000 unique users a month, just over half a year from the ‘soft launch’ of a dedicated portal for the US-based company.
In July this year Sidestep UK managed to attract around 520,000 unique users, according to ComScore MediaMetrix.
Sidestep is now set to embark on a marketing campaign in the coming months following its launch to the industry and travel consumer press in the last week of September.
The site is widely seen as one of the key players entering the European vertical travel search sector from the US, with stateside rival Kayak also expected to ramp up its presence later in the year.
The emergence of a new breed of travel search engines in the European online travel market has coincided with an aggressive marketing strategy from the likes of Travelsupermarket in recent months, using a high-profile TV advertising campaign on UK terrestrial channels.
A major part of the SideStep proposition to consumers in what many agree is already becoming a crowded market will be its Toolbar function.
The toolbar service was launched on the US site in the summer of 2000 and automatically sits within a user’s browser. The system activates every time a user carries out a search on another travel site and displays similar prices direct from the SideStep back end.
The European end of the SideStep business is run by Kevin Eyres.
The US site currently has around 5 million unique users a month and 9 million toolbars have been downloaded.