What has happened?

Seeing travel as a sector to deliver revenue growth, Google has announced that hotels can now add their check in & check out times to their Google My Business (GMB). If a consumer were to click into a GMB page of a hotel, change their check in & out times, online travel agencies (OTA) like Trivago, Expedia etc. could – based on set dates – dynamically change their price in their comms in real-time.

The Media Store Take

Price transparency across multiple businesses increases consumer power. Further factoring in the rise of competition of both conventional & non-conventional accommodation (such as AirBnB), OTA’s need to differentiate themselves against their competition. There is a focus in the sector to remove friction & increase consumer engagement through simpler booking systems, dynamic alerts and additional add-ons. All of which further empowers the consumer.

Promise of cheapest price is no longer the differentiator. Online travel agencies could build additional value into the transaction by relinquishing other pain points in the consumer journey. These third party on-sellers could also look to Emirates as inspiration with their inclusion of complimentary limousine service for Business Class customers. OTA’s could replicate this and win more high-end customers by including free transport to hotels.

Brands need to comprehensively understand their consumer’s path to purchase and the reasons why customers engage with their company. Only then, can OTA’s can find new innovative ways to fuel business growth and further differentiate themselves from competitors in a highly saturated market.

Cameron Zapantis