Are Norwegian’s Promotional Efforts Allowing Them to Cruise by their Royal Competitors?

Cruise Ship

Image from: Cruise Ship Image / Shutterstock

When planning a vacation there are many decisions that must be made. Where to go, how to get there, and if are there any enticing deals available are all common questions to consider. Norwegian Cruise Line has recognized this process of potential vacationers and is taking appropriate action in hopes of cruising ahead of competitors. Norwegian’s latest offer, “Bask in Free Upgrades” ran four days (July 10, 2012 through July 13, 2012) and was aimed specifically at vacationers who were planning trips for three days or longer. Some of the upgrades Norwegian offered included a 50% reduced deposit, up to $250 of onboard spending, as well as other room upgrades. Available cruises applicable for such upgrades include destinations such as the Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Europe, and the Panama Canal – all during Fall 2012.

Curious about where Norwegian’s site stands online compared to competitors Royal Caribbean and Princess, I decided to take a look at Compete.com to compare unique visitors.

UVs to Ncl.com, Princess.com, Royalcaribbean.com

Clearly, Norwegian has not been receiving the highest traffic in comparison to royalcaribbean.com and princess.com – however, it does appear that the once large gap between the sites has closed. While royalcaribbean.com seems to still be ahead in unique visitors, and princess.com remaining relatively constant, ncl.com has increased unique visitors by a significant 11.02% in June 2012. To look deeper, I investigated the daily reach and attention metrics for ncl.com.

Daily Reach and Attention Ncl.com

As unique visitors have increased, the daily reach and attention to Ncl.com also has had several significant peaks. As Norwegian’s “Bask in Free Upgrades”offer began on July 10, daily attention and daily reach to Ncl.com peaked immediately. Another recent peak is seen on July 2nd. Taking a look back on Norwegian’s site, I saw that they ran another promotion that took place from June 28th through July 7th. The “Kids Sail Free” offer also led to more visitors on the site as well as high engagement. Another important aspect to take away from the daily reach and attention to Ncl.com is that the promotions appear to bring people to the site at the very start of the campaign, mid way through, and at the very end before it officially ends. I wonder if this matches with their sales trends as well?

One last question I had, naturally, was how long visitors are staying on the site as such a traffic increase is occurring. To uncover this information, I look a look at the average stay to Ncl.com on Compete.com.

Average Stay at Ncl.com

As unique visitors have increased 11.02%, average stay on the site has decreased by 5.66% with the average in June 2012 being 9 minutes 14 seconds. This leads me to believe that people are hearing of Norwegian’s special offer, yet are not likely investigating much further once on the site.

What do you think would be a more effective way for Norwegian Cruise Line to offer promotions that are more engaging to visitors? Have you recently viewed a promotion that you found to be highly engaging? If so, what about it in particular led to the increase in your attention?

Want to know more about online cruise shoppers and how these brands interact? Download Compete’s free report, Cruise Industry Demand and Conversion Insights!

About Melissa Smith:
Melissa comes to Compete to work in the Sales department as a Business Development Intern. Melissa is currently a student within the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst studying Marketing. Find Melissa on Twitter @melissas6492 or connect with her on LinkedIn.