A recently published study by Expedia Media Solutions has shed more light on how travel bookers in the US journey to their product of choice and what this means for attribution.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a study carried out by an OTA, it shows how online agents are hugely influential throughout the customer journey, not just at the point of booking.
With 15% of digital advertisers using no attribution and of those that do 34% focusing on last touch and 27% on first touch, Expedia hopes the insights will inform advertisers’ marketing strategies.
Attribution remains one of the knottiest issues in online retailing, particularly in travel where the path to purchase is so protracted and convoluted.
Expedia’s established position in the travel industry means it attracts the sort of traffic volumes that allow it to make general conclusions about consumer behaviour.
Wendy Olsen Killion, product management director at Expedia Media Solutions, said: “We do this sort of research for two reasons.
“Firstly product development, my whole focus is how we can understand consumer behaviour around inspiration, booking, and everything in the middle online.
“We are looking at how consumers engage with content and how that helps companies drive booking decisions, where they book but also the products they book.
“Secondly, we also like to share information with the industry. We feel a rising tide lifts all boats. We want to grow that online booking space.”
The Traveler Attribution study carried out for Expedia by MillwardBrown Digital and looked at clickstream data 45 days prior to hotel and flight bookings.
The study, released to coincide with the recent Phocuswright conference in Florida, took in over 75 million individual instances of travel shopping.
It found that average travel site visits increased as the week of booking neared, starting from a low of 2.5 five weeks out, hitting 15.5 in the week of booking. In total an average of 38 sites are visited.