The elephant in the online travel room is that while consumers are offered a massive variety of options, the industry is lead by two primary players – Booking Holdings and the Expedia Group. But in the past year, it was booking.com, the namesake of Booking Holdings that led the way in online travel.
So how did booking.com grow into the global leader of online travel? It answered three key questions on a country by country basis.
Where do visitors come from?
Telling a travel industry insider that booking.com is the largest travel site in the world is unlikely to elicit any shock. The giant, and its continuing dominance is so significant that the holding company that was one called the Priceline Group was renamed to bear its name. But, tell them that over the past 12 months, Russia was the site’s top source of traffic and the likelihood of surprise increases significantly. From May 2017 to April 2018, Russia amounted for 6.9% of the desktop traffic to the site, narrowly passing the US at 6.8%, though the lead can change on a monthly basis.
Which devices are they using?
From a global perspective, in the 12 months from May 2017 to April 2018 55.4% of all traffic to booking.com came from mobile web. The immediate assumption looking at this data could be to make a much bigger focus on strategies optimized for the unique experience enabled on mobile devices. Yet, the brilliance of booking.com’s strategy lies in its capacity to tailor its approach with this metric serving as a significant north star.
Where are the market opportunities?
Building a specific strategy for each market is a critical piece of the puzzle for booking.com’s efforts, but equally critical is the ability to adapt to market dynamics. Of late, no market has shown the value of this approach as effectively as US.
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