Seasonal e-commerce traffic rise bodes well for peak travel booking period

November 27, 2007

Yesterday I blogged about the peak online travel booking period and what people can expect to see in the coming peak trading window of January and February. I said travel websites were showing year-on-year web traffic increases of 15-20%.

Nielsen have just released data on the increases seen by the retail industry on Black Friday (one of the busiest days of the retail calendar). They’re reporting increases in traffic of 10% year-on-year. They’re also talking about the increasing influence of the crowd and say consumers are discussing tactics and swapping tips on where to shop online. The other big story of this year is the increasing influence of incentives and discounts.

So what does this mean for travel? Well, I still stand by my 15%-20% up prediction. Travel has seen more growth throughout this year than retail and I strongly believe this January will be the busiest yet by quite a margin (for us if not for the market as a whole). All the data I have supports this. For retail, who have been operating at a much more mature level than travel online, to be 10% up it bodes well for the traffic increases travel websites can expect. The influence of the crowd and incentives will also play a big role this January, with many travel providers planning sales and discounts through the peak season.

Again, I urge all travel webmasters to get their sites in order quickly or risk watching your brands web experience become a sticky, slow experience for the consumer.

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