The travel search has evolved rapidly and travel giants like Expedia and Booking.com are becoming exceedingly efficient at converting potential customers into paying customers. They are using a combination of NLP (Natural Language Processing) and GPS (Global Positioning System) to simplify and enhance users’ search experience. Users can now use natural phrases like ‘Show me nearby restaurants’ and get a list of restaurants that are near the user’s location with filters to modify search according to cuisines, star ratings, reviews, and so on. The search engines are able to answer even more vague questions like ‘What to do?’ or ‘Where to go?’. Given the computing capability of today’s search engines and the advanced algorithms that understand user’s behaviour, the sky is the limit for optimizing travel search. Through years, we have learned to find users who ‘have their wallets out’ and present them with the exact deal or hotel that they are looking for. This has allowed us to skyrocket conversions and increase sales.
Read on to find out the recent advancements in travel search –
Gathering travellers who are earlier in their purchase process.
Booking.com has recently announced a redesigned search experience on both desktop and mobile platforms that understands users’ search patterns and interests and allows them to capture travel searchers who are early in the search process. They have now learned to understand searchers’ intent by tracking the times of the year they travel on, the destinations they frequently travel to, their hotel preferences, their interests and passions like scuba diving, skydiving, skiing, and so on. This crucial information allows them to learn about users and present them with the best suited deals/ hotels or vacation packages and increase their probability of buying from their website. Knowing the days and times users are more likely to travel on and their preferences, Booking.com can now offer customized and targeted deals for places known best for their interests in a ranking order. (Source)
Providing users with a deeper search experience and capturing their attention to book their trip as well –
Google has rolled out a new mobile travel search feature that provides a ‘deep’ click-in experience to users. On a search like ‘Where to go in France’, Google presents the users with a main list of significant cities that when clicked, take you to a list of destinations in that city. And when a city is selected, it offers a single page of travel related answers for that city. Check the below screenshots for more details on this feature –
It is clear that Google is not just providing the answers but capturing all of the attention and attempting to book the trip as well. It starts with a search, followed by a main list of tiles, which is then followed by detailed pages of content and images. (Source).
What are your thoughts about the improvements in travel search? Let us know in the comments section below. If you would like to read about more such advancements, visit Skift. If you want details on each new search feature, check the sources.