The travel industry is doing well – especially when it comes to online bookings. Sites like Trip Advisor, with over 260 million unique visitors, clearly have a strong presence. Expedia and Travelocity do well too with 34 million hotel rooms per month combined.
When traveling, it’s likely you will need transportation (planes, trains and automobiles anyone?) a place to stay and a place to eat. Putting these necessities together is top of mind for travel companies like Trip Advisor and they have figured out how to create product bundles that “save” their shoppers both time and money.
One of my biggest questions when I travel is “OK, now that I’m here, where should I eat?” Priceline’s recent purchase of OpenTable.com and Trip Advisor’s acquisition of LaFourchette are perfect examples of the digital traveler’s need for dining recommendations that complement their travel bookings. With the time saved, improved customer experience online and possible up-sell or cross-sell options these companies may come to offer in the future, it’s a win-win for travelers and travel sites alike.
We have a few customers in the travel industry so we know that they feel that a personalization strategy is really valuable. Why should travel be any different than other eCommerce sites? Shoppers want to be recognized, offered the products and content that meet their needs at that moment, provided simple, productive navigation and a customer experience that they want to come back to. We expect to see more and more personalization making its way onto travel sites in the months ahead and look forward to seeing how things improve for sites and shoppers in this exciting eCommerce space.