High Tech, High Touch Hotel Performance
By Melissa Maher Senior Vice President - Global Partner Group, Expedia, Inc | March 25, 2018
Technology has impacted how consumers today live, work, shop and play. They have instantaneous access to nearly everything – information, purchasing, communication– at their fingertips. The average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day, and switches between screens up to 21 times per hour. That is a lot of information for one person to process.
Thanks to technology, consumers today are moving at the speed of light, and they expect the companies they interact with to keep up with them. This impacts all industries and is increasingly important in the travel landscape. As consumers become even more tech-savvy, there is a growing "digital impatience," or an expectation that technology understand them, and be increasingly intuitive, personal and seamless. They don't want to waste time.
No one knows this more than Expedia, with our deep focus on technology and learning. With more than 200 travel booking sites, we dig deep into our data to understand traveler behaviors and what drives them. There were 55,000 technology-driven tests conducted on Expedia sites in 2017, with 22,305 in lodging platform enhancements alone. Our test-and-learn culture is designed to implement solutions that bring our partners alongside their guests on their digital journey – reaching and interacting with them the ways they are accustomed to.
Here are a few learnings hotels can lean into:
The promise of technology has always been about efficiency. For Millennials and Gen Z, they have never even known a world without digital disruption, so they expect constantly evolving experiences that are simple and seamless. The concept of a marketplace is not new, but it continues to dominate user experiences. Amazon is a perfect example of this – what was once a place to buy rare books is now your one-stop shopping, voice-enabled digital assistant, entertainment experience and physical grocer. The marketplace continues to consolidate and evolve.
According to a recent Expedia survey, 80 percent of U.S. travelers said they prefer to book all travel on a single website – the marketplace of travel. When viewed with the lens of an acquisition channel for hotels, OTAs cater to this growing majority, where they can book flights, hotels, transportation and experiences together. On average, customers who purchase vacation packages through Expedia book more than two times further out than customers who purchase hotel only, they stay on average two times longer and cancel at one-third the rate as a standalone bookers.