Dara began with a nod to the new media based deal with IHG. He said Expedia’s focus is to change the traditional impersonal relationship with consumers to be more individualized. Three areas of focus: (1) email (2) Segmentation (3) Search experience – lodging search experience to the next level.
(1) Email – described Amazon’s email follow-up after search. Booking window, length of stay, impacting next visit at Expedia. Email as upsell opportunity. Purchase behavior impacts the type of email message generated. Occasion or event triggers for emails are more effect – 20X as effective. Air search with permission send email – 30X conversion rates
(2) Segmentation – demographic mailings. Unique content based on segmentation – Expedia Elite Group – premium service levels – no cancellation or change fees and other services
(3) Personalization – Optimization of lodging sort. Previously anyone would get the same sort. Built an algorithm sorting hotels with goal sending hotel partners more likely to convert and enjoy that hotel. Personalized predictions based on conversion – 30 attributes – kids, which site, length of stay, adding factors for partners inventory levels. Customer reviews
Summary – Long Tail – world is flat. One to one relationship with every traveler.
My comments – All this is not new, but does show a new level of maturity for Expedia in order to better target customer segments verses a vanilla approach traditionally followed by Expedia.