Most travel brands benchmark affiliate performance by tracking percentage (or volume) of traffic they get from their affiliates over a given period. The next level of affiliate bench-marking is to understand the quality of the audience coming from each affiliate, and affiliate performance of your competition.
Measure Who Drives More “Converting” Traffic
To illustrate this point, we look at the battle between aggregators, Hotels.com and Booking.com, and compare audiences that are driven by Trivago. We look only at the audiences who went on to convert on these aggregator sites.
Both aggregators have similar conversion rates of 4-5% (i.e. proportion of visitors who hit the booking confirmation page), although Booking.com is more reliant on Trivago for converting traffic than Hotels.com is. This would be good news to Hotels.com, who has a higher proportion of traffic from direct/ non-affiliate channels
Hotels.com vs. Booking.com: Converting traffic
Identify The Unique Attributes of Your Converting Audience
Upon analysing the audiences behind the converting traffic, you see that Hotels.com actually taps into a difference audience through Trivago. Their converting Trivago audience is skewed towards females (53% vs. Direct – 42%) and captures a younger profile of 18-24 years old (13% vs. Direct – 9%).
Hotels.com: Trivago vs. Direct Converting Audience
With this insight, Hotels.com could then assess the ROI of their converting Trivago audience, while keeping Booking.com’s affiliate strategy in mind.
This can help them determine whether to continue or grow their partnership with Trivago, in order to open up to new or untapped audiences.
To learn more about how to benchmark affiliate traffic & audience quality as well as other key trends from the Travel & Tourism industry, download the full report here: Travel in 2017
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