The Airport Parking Sector
The Airport Parking sector drives a high volume of business each year, with the current UK value at £0.7 billion (Report Linker 2016). Tied closely to the overall travel vertical, the demand for airport parking has increased over the past few years, with Manchester, Bristol, London Heathrow and Gatwick airports all seeing a record number of travellers in 2015. A search traffic report analysing airport parking keyword searches from 2012 – 2014 mirrored this (Inside Online), with customers searching for airport parking on the rise.
As demand for parking spaces increase, airport capacity becomes a key issue, with many airports in the UK looking for solutions to maximise use of space. Several businesses offer valet or meet-and-greet parking, upselling parking service options for travellers and simultaneously saving space. Peer to peer parking, through sites such as JustPark have also increased in popularity, and with car ownership rising to 29.6 million by the end of 2014, and rising 9% across 2015, such services are likely to grow in demand (Department for Transportation).
There is also a growing trend of smart parking and e-payments impacting the EU parking sector more generally, where for the majority of parking operators, e-payments constitute around 50% of total turnover (EPA 2015), likely accelerating the parking sector further into 2016.
Focusing specifically on data in the affiliate channel, we’ve witnessed strong growth in the sector over the past five years, with peak performance typically around the summer holiday months. 2015 as a whole was up 32% in sales year on year, with the Average Order Value also increasing by just over £2 across the sector.
From a device perspective, mobile has also seen excellent growth, with mobile devices constituting 21.66% of sales in 2015, compared to 13.67% in 2013. Smartphones have seen the highest growth, rising 4.13% in share across the period.
Trends over time: The graph below indicates the monthly sales trend for Affiliate Window’s Airport Parking advertisers:
Key Performance Indicators
Average Order Value (AOV)
In line with overall growth in the sector, we’ve also seen AOV increase over the past few years, growing to £52.07 in 2015 up from £44.26 in 2011 and growing at around 3.3% on average a year.
We saw a strong peak in conversion rates in 2014 with an average of 12.53% across the sector. This year conversion has dipped to 11.11%, in 2015 but is still much stronger vs. the overall travel sector (4.4% in 2015).
EPC and commissions
Along with conversion rates decreasing in the vertical, EPC has also dropped slightly to £0.40 in 2015 from £0.43 seen in 2013. Average commissions however saw an increase to £3.57 in 2015 from £3.20 in the previous year.
A considerable portion of the growth in the Airport Parking sector can be attributed to the wider use of mobile devices in the channel. Smartphone clicks over doubled in percentage of total traffic, up to 12.07% in 2015 from 5.17% in 2013. Smartphones still lag behind tablets in terms of sales, accounting for 5.93% and 15.73% of sales in 2015 respectively.
Tools for affiliates
Typically most airport parking programmes will offer affiliates standard banner creative and text links. Some programmes also offer meta feeds, booking widgets, various voucher codes and deals.
For this month’s sector article we’ve added further insight to the publisher type split views, showing a comparison between click traffic and sales by promotional type. We can see over the past three years, that cashback sites have held a majority sales share, however this share is decreasing, accounting for 59.11% of sales in 2015 compared to 64.22% in 2013. The traffic share for cashback has also dropped, losing over 9% of traffic share since 2013. By contrast, discount code sites have gained in total share of clicks and sales, rising to 39.08% of traffic and 23.32% of sales in 2015. A sizeable portion of traffic was also driven from content (10.40%) and loyalty partners (10.58%) in 2015. Loyalty partners contributed 9.73% to total sales in 2015.
Finally, we’ve put together some niche sites to consider for the sector: