Bradford-based holiday price comparison website icelolly.com is eyeing further growth by breaking into more overseas market after setting up a Spanish website at the start of this year.
The site claims to have seen 30% growth in traffic so far this year with Google data showing it has overtaken its more established rival Teletext Holidays for monthly visitors for the first time.
Icelolly, which was founded in 2005, has grown rapidly and was recently awarded the Cimtig award for best budget TV advert which drove more traffic in an hour than an average day when it debuted.
Suniel Makh, said the site was constantly looking for growth opportunities and the visitor comparison with Teletext comes on the back of sustained growth, rather than a decline of its rival.
“We are seeing significant growth in year-on-year traffic coming through the brand. We have done a lot of advertising on television and social media and general awareness is growing.
“User numbers are improving and growing. People are getting more familiar with the brand, so that’s why it’s important when they come to the site they have a good experience and refer us on.”
Having launched in Spain, Icelolly is now assessing the potential for sites in other European countries like France, Germany, Italy and Scandinavia, Makh said.
Last year rival website Teletext opted to significantly reduce the number of deals providers it works with from 50 to just 15 in a bid to increase quality and visibility of the offers on its site.
Makh said Icelolly has not opted to go down that route and it currently works with 40 travel firms, although it was constantly aware of the need to maintain quality.
“We believe at the end of the day a comparison site needs to compare a range of different offers from different providers.
“If you cut that down there is the potential you are limiting offers from specialists in certain destinations, for instance. We have found that to be a better customer experience.
“We have a compliance team that works with us checking the deals and the calls made to advertisers and we are the only travel site that allows the user to delete a deal off the site.
“We know that the Advertising Standards Authority are very tough if people ring through to an advertiser and the deal is not available.”
Makh said Icelolly was constantly looking for ways to refine its search filters so customers can find the holiday they want. The site claims to have 20 million holidays on offer.
And he said it would add more providers to its portfolio, but only if they are a good fit and do not detract from the overall offering.
“It depends on the technology and we have to make sure we are not watering down the business for everybody else. There has got to be a strategy.”
Makh believes price comparison will continue to thrive even if the customer starts to change its habits and look for more added value.
“We realise it’s not just about price if you have the right holiday that’s perfect for the customer. I do feel there is room in the future for price still to be dominant but we have to look at all the factors people make a decision based on.”