Charles Saldarini, Tue Jan 29, 2019

How Big Online Travel Sites Use AI to Discourage Shopping

How Big Online Travel Sites Use AI to Discourage Shopping

Once upon time e-commerce was a simple reflection of Main Street. The essentials of the brick and mortar, window shopping experience was replicated on screen with Sticker Prices and Mark Downs and One Day Only. But recently, you may have noticed a whole new kind of merchandising, which we call FOMO Merchandising.

What is FOMO Merchandising

FOMO merchandising uses lots of powerful computing to tell you that "450 people are looking at this hotel," or to suggest that a hotel only as "3 rooms left" or that "90 people also like this flight." And it has a simple intent: Trigger your Fear of Missing Out. Big online sites spend billions getting your attention. And when they do pull you to their sites, they need to make a sale. Certainly, BOOK NOW! looks familiar to any online traveler buyer.  These sites want you to book, book and book now. 

Well, book that.

Shopping is all about Considering

Relovate asked this question when we got started: "Why can't you "consider" options before you book travel products like hotel rooms and flights and car rentals and activities?"With so many choices available, and the big sites never miss a chance to tell you they have 1 gazillion rooms available, what’s the rush?

In one survey we conducted, 54% of respondents wanted the ability to Save All the Options I Am Considering. In another, 53% of respondents said they "loved It" this description of what a consider feature could do: You can save flights, hotels, restaurants and activities you want to consider and then book when ready. Another 42% thought it was "interesting, would explore it."  

In other words, 95% of the respondents though the idea of considering was overwhelmingly positive. For women specifically, it was 98%.

Relovate decided that our customers didn’t need us to rush, press or pressure them. We accepted that decisions should be made on your terms and at your convenience. Or keep your money.  So, we built a feature we call, aptly enough, "Consider."

Relovate's Consider Feature

For every travel product we integrate, we include an option to "Consider." This unleashes a set of trip planning benefits:

  1. Considered choices are populated to your Trip Planner, where they are saved for your reference. You can open the details of your considered options with one click.
  2. Considered hotels and flights are automatically price monitored—each time you return to your trip, Relovate smartly updates the price. 
  3. Considered items are easily Collaborated. Any considered items will be included when you invite fellow traveler or travel advisors to help you make final decisions.   
  4. Collaborating parties can add their own considers, just like collaborating any document or presentation. 
  5. Considered items are saved, even after you book. This way, you can re-use the trip and do not need to do your searching all over again. It's like your favorite shop remembering your size and preference.

There are no limits to the number of considered options you can create, though we don't recommend going too crazy.

So, Go Travel Shopping at Relovate.

We're not afraid of you taking your time to shop and browse.  If you like what you see, you’ll book when you’re ready.  Trust us, the world’s not running out of rooms, flights or anything else travel related.