The Performance Beacon

The web performance, analytics, and optimization blog

Spring break boosts online traffic: Is your site ready for vacationers?

Spring break is right around the corner. For many students — and for those who just need a break from the cold and snow — this is a time to get away from it all and travel somewhere warm and sunny for a vacation.

For airlines, car rental businesses, retailers and others in the travel, hospitality, and ecommerce industries, this means one thing: customers will be in a rush to book travel arrangements and purchase items for their trips. And with the convenience and ease available through internet-based portals, many consumers will look to online channels for their spring break needs.

Where are spring breakers going?

Although spring break often conjures images of college students drinking cocktails on the beach, these aren’t the only people that look to get away this time of year. Other adults take vacations as well, whether it’s to escape work or just take a break from the harsh winter.

According to a Yahoo Travel survey, 27% of respondents plan to travel during spring break. Yahoo also asked about these individuals’ destination plans, and found that most survey participants

  • 35% plan to hit the beach for their spring break vacations,
  • 17% said they have a cruise in mind, and
  • 12% are planning a trip to an amusement park.

Page slowdowns and crashes can hurt travel and retail sites

All this traffic, while good for the business, can also cause website performance to suffer if brands aren’t prepared. Page slowdowns and crashes hurt online business. One study found that travel consumers are especially sensitive to performance delays at the “browse” and “checkout” stages of a transaction. And consumers who experienced slower page loads reported overall lower satisfaction with the website, including the site’s design, content, and usability.

travel web performance

Mobile preparedness: Top spring break apps

Your website isn’t the only aspect of the enterprise that should be ready for an influx of spring break-related needs. Trip Smarter found that travelers also use an array of mobile apps, including those that offer weather forecasts, on-demand taxi services, streaming music, and other entertainment programs. These are among the top apps that experience heavy use among vacationers. The brands behind these programs must be ready as well.

Takeaway: “Seasonal readiness” is now “year-round readiness” — on every platform

Not long ago, retail and travel sites had to deal with seasonal readiness. Now they have to be ready for year-round demand, as well as unexpected traffic surges caused by anything from ad campaigns to unexpected weather events.

That’s why end-to-end performance management is a must-have for the hospitality industry. It’s not enough to know that your site performs well on traditional simulated tests. You need to monitor, measure, and analyze real events in real time.

Guide to Managing Digital Traveler Expectations

SOASTA Marketing

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SOASTA Marketing

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