Metasearch Is critical to the travel research process now finds new report, with 94% of travelers reporting that they use metasearch when booking hotels and 73% doing so regularly
NB: This is an article from Eye for Travel
A new white paper from Fornova and EyeforTravel finds that 94.4% of consumers use price comparison sites at least occasionally when booking their accommodation. Within this, 72.5% of consumers across the countries surveyed said that they regularly used metasearch sites and 43.6% said that they always used the tools. The results come from an EyeforTravel survey of over 3,000 travel consumers across Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and United States, and you can access the complete report via the link at the end of this article
This puts metasearch at the forefront of the consumer research process and makes it a critical area to compete within. “Metasearch offers price comparisons that show consumers where they can get the best deals available and there is demand for this among leisure travelers,” said Ujjwal Suri, vice president, distribution solutions at Fornova. Indeed, when consumers were asked what made them come back to travel brands again and again to use, the value proposition came out head and shoulders above other factors, with 62% of respondents saying that the companies offering the best value were where they returned to. The next highest category was the digital consumer experience at 32.4% of travelers.
Looking closer at consumer trends, Millennials and business travelers are some of the heaviest metasearch users.
Travelers between the ages of 18 and 35 are the age group most likely to report using price comparison tools every time they book accommodations at 46.4% of the demographic, while those ages 36 to 55 are just behind at 45%, whereas the oldest generation of over 55 years see a noticeably lower 36.8% reporting that they always use metasearch sites.
Is Google the dominant player in hotel search?
Google is eating up more and more of the pie when it comes to hotel metasearch says new research
Google has picked up plenty of fans in the hotel industry, with it leading the pack for hotel presence on the platform. Fornova monitoring of hotel search results on metasearch sites revealed that nearly four fifths of shops on Google having a hotel bid, compared to 43% for HotelsCombined, 30% for trivago, and just 8% for TripAdvisor. It seems that Google has captured substantial market share and offered a strong value proposition for hotels amongst the sector.
This added competition and is putting pressure on the results of other metasearch sites. Nir Dupler, CRO for Fornova, expects more hoteliers will turn to Google Hotel Ads as they look to expand their meta presence because “TripAdvisor and trivago have run into financial difficulties and haven’t been making it work commercially.”
The best performer out of this big three appeared to be the metasearch brands of Booking Holdings, which reported in its second quarter earnings call that revenues from meta and OpenTable grew 34% in Q2.
Fornova CEO Dori Stein theorized that the meta sites struggling to meet financial projections are victims of Google’s advantage as holders of what he called the most sought-after real estate in the Western World. “TripAdvisor and Trivago’s share prices aren’t doing that well and they’re spending more and more on advertising so that they can reach more consumers,” he noted. “But it’s coming at tremendous costs while Google is increasing the number of consumers exposed to their metasearch engine with no real additional costs. No one said it’s a fair world.”
Google is not sitting on its laurels, however. After upping its game earlier this year by improving its mobile hotel search experience with enhanced booking capabilities, price filtering, amenity details and automated comparisons, Google, more recently bettered its hotel ads platform. In July, the search engine announced that later this year, hotel ads will become part of the Google Ads platform with a new campaign type. The change will allow management of hotel campaigns in a single platform, alongside advertisers’ other Google campaigns. A new Hotel Center, rolled out at the same time, aims to simplify the management of hotel price feeds and the company appeared to be experimenting with putting Hotel Ads above its usual top-listed paid ads in mid-2018.
Therefore, other meta players need beware that the Google juggernaut is making inroads into this critical market and will need to fight hard to capture the critical hotel marketing spend and become less reliant on other online travel agents.
Wholesalers are the biggest issue in hotel distribution
Hotels and OTAs are being undercut on the overwhelming majority of OTA searches by non-authorised players looking to capitalise on price competitiveness finds a new white paper
Fornova and EyeforTravel’s new white paper has uncovered that the greatest factor impacting rate integrity is contracted wholesalers, which are selling inventory to Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) that do not have direct agreements with hotels. This is resulting in lost market share and revenues for both hotels and partner OTAs. The depth of this is revealed by Fornova monitoring of nearly 10 million shops made through metasearch engines in 2018.
This white paper, made in conjunction with Fornova, gives real-world data on hotel, wholesaler and OTA bidding strategies, alongside consumer behaviours, and meta success metrics. Use these to understand the channel, the competitive landscape and build a winning strategy!
Learn the following from this report:
- The state of the metasearch market.
- Market penetration rates among consumers and hotels.
- Consumer behaviours on metasearch.
- OTA bidding strategies.
- Techniques to succeed on metasearch.
- The outlook for meta.