TripAdvisor’s (TRIP) key metrics had a mixed performance in the fourth quarter. The company registered a YoY (year-over-year) improvement in its average monthly unique visitors and revenue per hotel shopper. However, the monthly unique hotel shoppers fell.
TripAdvisor’s average monthly unique visitors grew 2% YoY to 490 million users in the fourth quarter. For 2018, the unique visitor growth averaged 11%. User reviews on the company’s website reached 730 million on over 8.1 million. The vast growth helped TripAdvisor create brand awareness and drive users to its website.
The company’s strong efforts toward improving the user base through marketing initiatives and continuously enhancing mobile-centric product design have been attracting new users. Under the mobile-centric product design, TripAdvisor has developed application systems that are compatible with all of the major operating systems (XLK) including Apple’s (AAPL) iOS, Google’s (GOOGL) Android OS, and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Window OS. The company’s mobile applications and website are accessible in 20 different languages, which helped the company attract new visitors to its site.
One of TripAdvisor’s important marketing strategies is to keep its site free to access and upload data. Many small, local, and regional travel agencies find it cost-effective and convenient to post their content on the company’s site, which helps TripAdvisor enhance its clientele.
Since 2017, TripAdvisor has been rationalizing its marketing expenses. The online travel agency has been emphasizing TV advertising more and reducing online advertisements in areas where it isn’t profitable.
Hotel shoppers fell
Despite decent growth in unique visitors, TripAdvisor’s total average monthly hotel shoppers fell in the fourth quarter. The total unique hotel shoppers for the fourth quarter declined 11% YoY to 340 million from 383 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. The decline in hotel shoppers was likely due to the ongoing marketing optimization initiative that the company started in third-quarter of 2017, which reduced the low-quality traffic.
TripAdvisor managed to report YoY growth for the revenue per shopper metric for the second quarter in a row. In the past, the company reported a decline for 13 consecutive quarters. The parameter improved 14% YoY to $0.41 due to mobile device monetization.