Expedia Group Transforms the Hotel Shopping Experience with New Attribute-based Shopping Technology

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  Expedia Group transforms the hotel shopping experience with new attribute-based shopping technology

Expedia Group is the first OTA to offer attribute-based shopping (ABS) at scale – early results show improved traveller experience, along with a new shopping model for the entire hotel industry.

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The way travellers book accommodations is dramatically changing. For years, travellers have been confined to the rigid output of rate plans limiting flexibility when trying to find the hotel room and extras (such as breakfast, parking, Wi-Fi, etc.) that meet their needs. As choice and transparency have become more possible in other elements of consumers’ lives, they expect the same experience when it comes to booking travel – and with ABS, we are one step closer.

ABS unbundles attributes that make up a hotel rate plan, increasing price transparency while helping travellers easily compare their options to build their ideal stay. Expedia Group has pioneered a new technology to convert hotel rate plans into an ABS experience for the traveller and early results show a vastly improved traveller experience, increased revenue for hotels at no additional cost, and an innovative new shopping model for the entire hotel industry.

The ABS opportunity

Prior to ABS, lodging rate plans were packaged in a complex and often overwhelming format for travellers. The legacy rate plan display made it difficult for travellers to compare available offerings and comprehend the difference in price for various room types and extras. This complexity resulted in the traveller booking the cheapest rate plan more than half of the time.1 With ABS, Expedia Group takes the existing rate plans provided by hotels and unbundles them to create à la carte options – making it easier for travellers to compare the cost of the room along with extras they can add to their reservation.

Our ABS rate plan display has already shown encouraging signs for hoteliers. Combined with Expedia Group’s machine-learning room recommendations, ABS has driven a 4.1% shift to more premium rooms and rates. Early indications have also shown increases in conversion when the ABS layout is shown to the traveller, and we’ve only just begun to take advantage of this new capability.

Make ABS work for your property

We know ABS can help increase upsell and conversion for Expedia Group’s hotel partners, but today, not all properties are taking full advantage of this opportunity. Many of the rate plans we receive from hotels have some degree of inconsistency, and in these cases, rate plans will default to the legacy display. In fact, one-third of visits to Expedia Group websites and apps see at least one legacy rate plan layout. As an Expedia Group hotel partner, we recommend you take the following actions to optimize ABS for your property:

  • Create consistent attribute naming and pricing. ABS makes any inconsistencies in your rate plans much more visible to the traveller, so ensure you have a uniform rate plan structure. For example, when including an extra like parking, be clear by always naming the type (valet, self-parking, etc.) and pricing it at the same rate for each room type.

  • Offer the best traveller experience by ensuring each room type has a rate plan for each possible attribute combination. For example, if a property wants to offer flexible cancellation and breakfast options, they need to provide at least four rate plans per room type:

    • Rate one: non-refundable

    • Rate two: refundable

    • Rate three: non-refundable + breakfast

    • Rate four: refundable + breakfast

This is only the beginning for ABS at Expedia Group. This technology lays the foundation to unlock a wide range of new revenue opportunities as we continue to modernize the way travellers shop for hotels. Together we can move the industry forward and embrace a new shopping model that benefits all members of the travel ecosystem.

Hari Nair

Hari Nair SVP, Lodging Partners, Expedia Group. Connect with Hari on LinkedIn.

Hari leads Expedia Group’s Global Account Management business across lodging, including hotels and vacation rentals. In this role, he works with supply partners to make them successful on the Expedia Group platform and stay ahead of digital innovation.

Visit Expedia Group Partner Central and learn how Expedia Group’s ABS capability can create a better end-to-end experience for your next guest.

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