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Trip.com Group Limited strives to make every trip the perfect trip for their 400 million worldwide users, provides services in 21 different languages for accommodation reservations, transportation ticketing, packaged tours, as well as corporate travel management for their diverse audiences across 31 different countries and regions — including Hong Kong, Korea, and Japan.
Providing the highest standard of service is extremely important to Trip.com, which is why they ensure everything from their customer service to their in-app user experience are the most user-friendly on the market. Trip.com also adopts a “glocal” approach—listening closely to each of their region’s needs and weaving them into their global brand story.
For their users, Tijs Bulk, Trip.com’s App Marketing Manager in the International Business Unit, says, “We keep the user journey simple, while allowing full customizability and cross-booking across all of our other services.”
Trip.com wanted to bring that customizability into their digital marketing strategy, so they partnered with Criteo on cross-device dynamic advertising.
Trip.com partnered with Criteo in 2017 to drive performance on their website through lower-funnel retargeting campaigns. After seeing the ROI from those campaigns, they expanded the partnership to also include conversion-focused retargeting for their app, as well as app campaigns to acquire new users and drive installs from mobile web.
Tijs says, “Trip.com expected a blooming business growth but standing out globally against the big labels can be challenging. We need a well-known business partner to expand business globally. Criteo is an ideal partner equipped with a global background, leading inventory coverage, no device limitations, and one-stop solution.”
Criteo helped them grow in new markets by identifying the best-fit, highest-value users. After the initial test period, installs and in-app orders driven from Criteo app install campaigns increased by 158% and 159% respectively month over month.
Tijs Bulk explains, “Paid installs are a big driver of growth for us in new markets… We don’t only need to reach users who are willing to install an app, but also are interested in travelling and booking their flight or hotel through the app. To do this we use a combination of selecting the right channels, and selecting the right tools to reach specific audiences, such as lookalike audiences.”
Tijs says, “Ad tech solutions are a cornerstone of our strategy.” He elaborates, “Our close partnership with Criteo… is an excellent fit for the stage we are in as a company. Criteo fills in a specific niche in which it leads, and furthermore shows that their expanded solutions, such as user acquisition, are promising solutions to expand our ad tech strategy together.”
Trip.com also worked with Criteo to remove time-consuming manual campaign optimization by leveraging their Automated Bidding tool. For this adaptive model, the team set a target cost per order to maintain throughout the campaign and the Criteo engine automatically optimized Trip.com’s campaign for this target.
This allows Trip.com to consistently hit KPIs, audience strategy, and creative set without constantly updating cost per clicks (CPCs). Tijs says, “We are able to spend more time on strategy alignment than daily optimization, with control and visibility on CPO. This type of optimization is precise, accurate and effective, and contributed to significant app growth during 2019.” Automated bidding even yielded Trip.com a 13% higher conversion rate while decreasing their cost per order (CPO) by 17%.
For reach, Trip.com also appreciates that Criteo is one of their largest programmatic traffic sources for re-engaging their users. While Trip.com also works with Facebook and Google, Tijs cites, “A main difference is that these platforms are focused on their own traffic and platforms, while Criteo takes a broader approach. Because Criteo’s traffic comes from different sources outside of the duopoly, it is very valuable to us to target such quality traffic.”
Trip.com’s app users have grown 100% year over year for the past two years and they’ve maintained the #1 travel app position in Hong Kong. Trip.com’ s international air ticketing volume has also maintained triple-digit year over year growth for 13 consecutive quarters at the end of last year.
They’ll continue to evolve their partnership with Criteo as their brand and offerings grow. Tijs says Trip.com enjoys partnering with Criteo because, “There is one team to serve us and it’s improved the work efficiency, reduced the time for communication with different channels and people.” He goes on to cite transparent reporting, a self-service platform, leading creative layouts, efficient performance, and results-oriented focus as being main benefits to their partnership.
Tijs says, “What our users have in common is a love for travel, and we aim to be the trusted travel companion for all of them.” Criteo is proud to help Trip.com be that trusted travel partner for their users.