WTM – Meta search to drive switch to acquisition model

The rise of Web 2.0 will force price comparison sites to replace the existing cost-per-click structure with a cost-per-acquisition model, according to Internet Business Group chief executive Maz Darvish.

IBC’s routes are in affiliate marketing where the affiliate gets paid a commission when a click through leads to a sale.

The company also owns price comparison site Henoo.com and Darvish predicts the meta-search sites will be forced to adopt a similar remuneration structure to affiliate marketing.

Darvish claims price comparison sites will be forced to adopt Web 2.0 content such as videos, blogs, maps and user generated content to continue to get the volumes of traffic the sites currently do.

These tools will help the user in their holiday search before clicking through to the suppliers’ site so should help to increase conversion rates.

“Web 2.0 tools are necessary for the user experience,” Darvish said. “Under a cost per acquisition model it’s in our interest to drill the customer’s query down so they are ready to but when they click through to the supplier’s site.”

Travelsupermarket.com has already started to shift it business away from pure price comparison to giving its users more information about the product behind the price, such as airline seat pitch, length of flight, any potential changes and information on taxes.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! Search UK & Ireland UK category development director Nick Jones ruled out the search engines making a similar move away from cost-per-click to cost-per-acquisition.

He argued the return on investment travel firms experience from search engines click through makes it an inexpensive compared to other forms of marketing.

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