How using search intelligence and hotel data improve booking behaviour?
Today the travel supply chain has become highly fragmented, crowded and complex with suppliers of hotel rooms, airline seats, tour packages and cars existing alongside intermediaries. Many of these intermediaries exist to offer travel product suppliers another and sometimes faster route to the end consumers. OTAs, GDSs, B2B Accommodation Wholesalers, Metasearch price comparison sites, branded dotcoms – all are part of the huge online travel market worth $313 billion in 2012 (according to PhoCusWright).
The online travel shopper, spends more on travel products than in other online retail stores and is passionate about his travel plans and finding the best deal for him. His research gives him instant access to flight, hotel, and car-rental options and the ability to play suppliers off against one another. A high degree of search activity across multiple sites usually precedes every booking. Of course there will always be shoppers who are not satisfied until they have researched all options to assure themselves that they are getting the very best price available, but that can take up valuable time. For intermediaries and suppliers to be able to serve up more limited options, but ones that more accurately match demand will help both the shopper to turn that look into a booking and the intermediary to turn that search into a conversion.
This empowerment of the consumer by the Internet is forcing travel companies to think more like retailers. This means learning to combine the data available on the products being searched for and bought with detailed knowledge of the customer, his situation and his preferences.
Outside of the travel industry, online retailers – Amazon always being cited as the classic example – are already using their accumulated wealth of customer data to drive personalisation to the next level with real-time recommendations during the buying process in a bid to satisfy customer searches and reduce shopping cart abandonment. Online travel companies, rather than catching up, seem to be falling further behind when it comes to using data to understand their customers, drive sales and improve look-to-book ratios.
At Triometric, in respect of hotel bookings, we see three distinct areas that can help travel intermediaries make better use of data that is already available as part of the travel transaction. Firstly take the context of the search request such as single traveller, family or group, mid-week or weekend, city or resort and then combine this data layer with hotel codes and descriptions (such as those supplied by a specialist like GIATA). This can help the intermediary to more closely match available inventory with what the consumer is indicating he wants. The ability to deliver more targeted responses to travel requests is key to bridging the relevance gap that often exists between search and response.
In summary the three areas area:
- Distribution Complexity: Understanding the dynamics of the emerging trends and recognising which channel/product mixes deliver the best value.
- Standards: Adopting industry-wide hotel codes and communication standards so everyone in the travel chain can be sure they are talking about the same product
- Differentiation for Relevance: Analysing search data attributes to increase the likely relevance of replies.
Travel companies that understand how to capture value from their "information assets" from a variety of sources such as search traffic analytics and hotel description repositories have a better chance of securing that booking. These companies will be able to deliver optimally priced products, targeted to customers at the point of decision. That's the key to success in the age of relevance using accumulated data and real-time monitoring and is the roadmap to growth for the companies at the leading edge.
To read more about how travel companies can use search analytics to differentiate their offerings with relevance and reduce look to book ratios download our white paper that addresses this issue with examples.
Phone: +44 1784270404
based business intelligence and operational analytics designed to help online travel companies meet the challenges and opportunities of today"s fragmented distribution landscape. Triometric technology is a powerful end-to-end web services monitoring and analytics platform that helps customers manage complex distribution dynamics by giving them deep insight into their search and booking traffic. This actionable intelligence enables travel companies including hotel wholesalers, online travel agencies, metasearch engines and hotels and airlines to improve their business performance by reducing costs and increasing revenue.
Triometric is a specialist provider of XML-
Triometric is a privately held company based in Surrey, United Kingdom. Customers in the travelsector include GTA, Hotelbeds, SERHS Tourism, Miki Travel, Bonotel and SunHotels.