RealTime IT News

Kayak's Market Share Riding a Wave

Kayak.com, a travel search engine that searches other travel search engines, spent that last six months taking market share from its competition.

According to a just-released Hitwise USA report, Kayak increased its market share of visits to travel agency and transportation sites by 64 percent for the six months ending August 26, 2006.

"It's a testament to the continued innovation we've been trying to push around our product," Drew Patterson, Kayak's vice president of marketing, told internetnews.com.

Specifically, Patterson pointed Kayak's new "Fare Buzz" offering, which lets users see the price history was for nearly two-thirds of the flights on the site. Patterson said Kayak's new community forums helped drive the site's market share higher, too.

Forrester Research analyst Henry Harteveldt agreed that an enhanced user experience factored into Kayak's growth. He was particularly impressed with its use of AJAX , to develop the site.

But he said other other travel metasearch engines, such as Sidestep and Mobissimo grew in market share too, suggesting overall growth in that side of the Internet travel industry.

Harteveldt also argued that Kayak's recent advertising campaign could be as much of reason for the growth as anything.

Patterson did not deny the possible effect of Kayak's advertising campaign. He said that advertising was a part of their growth strategy.

"The big challenge we face as a company is how do we build a brand name and how do we build consumer awareness. Our users love the product, but there are a lot of bigger companies out there that spend a huge amount of money on marketing."