UPDATE: If you’re looking for information on explore ’20, please visit www.exploreexpediagroup.com.
Last week, Expedia Group partners from all around the world and spanning numerous verticals from air suppliers, to hoteliers, destination marketers, and more, gathered in Las Vegas for Expedia Group’s annual partner conference, explore ’19.
Creating frictionless travel was the theme for the week, with the focus placed squarely on how to remove barriers in online booking and travel processes. From breakout sessions, to expert speakers, to our own Expedia Group Media Solutions Insights Summit, achieving frictionless travel through the power of technological innovation was at the forefront of discussions throughout the event.
Online Travel Friction Index
Expedia Group and business strategy firm Magid released the Online Travel Friction Index, which revealed that travelers want suppliers to offer a seamless travel experience and to quickly and effectively handle any challenges during their travels. Results from this research identified the top five most impactful, friction-reducing attributes as:
- An easily navigable booking website
- Inventory that is the best value
- Ability to filter and sort a specific room type
- Option to redeem special offers
- Ability to quickly filter and sort specific hotel location criteria
Technological Developments for a More Seamless Experience
Expedia Group made announcements at last week’s conference regarding efforts to create frictionless travel for both our partners and our travelers, which include:
- A new trip assistance function on the Expedia app alerts a traveler’s hotel if the traveler is experiencing a flight delay of more than 8 hours.
- Expedia Group’s conversations platform is reducing effort and creating a quicker process for making changes to bookings or completing queries. This has delivered operational efficiencies and has elevated the overall travel experience for both partners and customers.
Diversity & Inclusion Pledge
In addition to frictionless travel, diversity and inclusion was another hot topic at explore this year. Our President and CEO, Mark Okerstrom, announced that he recently signed the broader CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion (CEO Action) pledge, the largest, global CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.
What Frictionless Travel Means for Expedia Group Media Solutions and our Marketing Partners
For our Media Solutions marketing partners, we also work to create a frictionless experience. We use our owned, first-party data and insights to help our partners inspire and engage travelers while also driving demand and delivering impactful results. We use billions of data points from 144 million unique monthly visitors, more than two million monthly page views, and over 200 targeting segments to connect advertisers to travel shoppers travelers.
To further understand consumer behaviors online, how people consume travel content, and how they make booking decisions, we often enhance our internal insights with custom research. Our very own Senior Vice President, Hari Nair, presented our custom research on generational travel trends, showcasing key insights for each of the five generational groups and sharing ways that marketers can reach and inspire them.
We also hosted our annual Expedia Group Media Solutions Insights Summit to provide marketing partners an overview of the latest in digital advertising trends and our advertising tools and solutions. The summit explored how travel marketers can leverage our digital marketing platform to engage and convert travelers, provided access to our latest custom research, and offered a glimpse inside how Expedia Group brands drive engagement and attract the world’s travelers. Experts from across Media Solutions were present to answer questions and brainstorm with marketing partners. We also heard from Vice President of Business Development at eMarketer, Marissa Coslov, who provided a data-packed overview of the uneven pace of digital marketing and the core areas of focus from which marketers can benefit in the coming year.
Lastly, congratulations to all of our marketing partners for winning Expedia Group Partner Awards at our dedicated ceremony, where we recognized partners for demonstrating engagement, partnership, innovation, and collaboration. We had a great time celebrating all of our nominees and winners and look forward to what 2020 has in store for travel marketing. Learn more about our award winners in our recent blog post detailing the 2019 Media Solutions Partner Awards.
If you weren’t able to attend explore ‘19 or would like to take a deeper dive into some of the learnings from the conference, we invite you to download the content featured at explore ’19.