Concrete Playground bets big on e-commerce travel trends

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By Published On: September 21, 20220 Comments

Digital media outfit Concrete Playground has bet big on the continued growth of the online travel market, partnering with travel tech providers TRAVLR to launch a new e-commerce platform offering travel and experience itineraries aimed at Gen Z and Millennial travellers.

The launch of the new platform Concrete Playground Trips sees the digital media organisation seeking to tap into a rapidly growing online travel market seeing significant growth emerging from the pandemic. 

Expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of eight percent in the coming years, the global online travel market is predicted to reach a value as high as US$765.3 billion by 2025, according to data analytics specialists GlobalData. This is predicted to occur as the broader travel and tourism market is forecast to see revenue returns higher than pre-pandemic levels as soon as next year, according to a Statista market forecast, with lockdown-fatigued travel hopefuls from younger generations expected to drive this trend.

It is these prospective travellers in particular that Concrete Playground hopes to reach with its new foray into e-commerce. Having built a following since its initial launch in 2009, Concrete Playground has established itself in recent years as a valuable resource for readers particularly in the East Coast states of Australia providing insights and news relating to the best experiences, destinations and eatery opportunities both in Australia and abroad.

Leveraging its appeal to younger demographics, Concrete Playground reportedly conducted research with its readership in April of this year in hopes to gain insights into the travel expectations of its predominantly Gen Z and Millennial audience, finding as many as 53 percent of Australians and 50 percent of New Zealanders were planning more domestic travel in 2022 when compared to pre-pandemic. 

It’s possible these results don’t even tell the full story, however, as they suggest more modest travel plans for consumers than Power Retail found from its surveying of consumers in January of this year. According to these findings, published in Power Retail’s Trajectory Report #38, as many as two thirds (66 percent) of survey respondents reported being likely or highly likely to book domestic travel in 2022. At this time, too, 35 percent of respondents reported uncertainty over possible border closures due to COVID-19 as being a factor in discouraging them from making travel plans – uncertainties that have since relaxed as borders have steadily remained open and interstate (and international) travel has again begun to be encouraged.

Consequently, according to the most recent Trajectory Report from Power Retail, as many as 17 percent of consumers looking to decrease their online spending in the next month are planning to do so in order to spend more on travel.

Seeking to take advantage of these ongoing trends of spend moving towards travel and experiences emerging from the pandemic and global lockdowns, Concrete Playground’s ‘CP Trips’ platform plans to release as many as 12 unique itineraries per quarter in addition to a range of other travel experiences. 

The platform has also partnered with buy now, pay later provider Humm to offer payment options to consumers, presumably seeking to get ahead of short-term concerns for consumers when considering discretionary spend amidst a challenging economic climate.

How successful Concrete Playground’s new venture into the online travel market will be remains to be seen, but certainly it is yet further evidence of e-commerce broadly recognising spending trends pivoting towards travel and experiences as the world seeks to re-emerge and normalise following the pandemic period.

Potentially most interesting of all is what insights, if any, the new platform might offer digital media organisations and retailers with respect to the future of retail media – an industry forecast to increase its market value to as much as $2.1 billion by 2026. Is such a meeting of digital media and e-commerce as that now introduced by Concrete Playground a sign of things to come?

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