Key to targeting “second wallet” – ascertain the style of travel
Travellers, just like consumers in any e-commerce category, have distinct ways of shopping.
So come to think of it – can two families travelling to a same destination end up liking exactly the same hotel, same tours, same food, same event？Not really.
A layer of intelligence that can ascertain an individual or a family’s way of travelling or intent is key to monetising the traffic. This is a key reason why Ctrip has chosen to acquire the US-based Trip.com, a company that specialises in algorithms-driven curation of travel recommendations.
The battle for understanding the intent via keywords isn’t new. In fact, even if the intent is clear then also unearthing what a traveller’s trip is all about is missing. Travel shopping remains fragmented, gets completed over multiple sessions, featuring multiple e-commerce sites.
In fact, airlines, hotels, OTAs etc. might not even feature in some of the transactions. For instance, in my recent trip, I booked for New Delhi- Shanghai via Ctrip, I searched for “ATP Tennis Master 1000” tournament and “Shanghai Disneyland” on Google. I, along with my family, bought tickets for both. And it wasn’t via the OTA or the airline. Also, it wasn’t the first time I searched for tennis news, events, tickets, and an amusement park like Disney, Universal etc. to give enough indications about my style of travel.
As for new developments, a human-like automated interaction via your preferred interface (say Facebook Messenger or WeChat) might offer those 6-7 trip components that you are looking in a trip, but chances are you might run out of patience at least as of today. And patience can be defined losing focus in less than half a minute.
Of course, for those several components of a trip, a traveller would need to share those preferences. But if an e-commerce player continues to push a user to ascertain what they have to search for then they would lose the traffic.