Like many others within the retail sector, the travel industry has been transformed by consumers having cheap, pervasive access to the internet. Instead of hitting the high-streets and shopping malls to find agents to help book flights, hotels and car rentals, consumers have taken to online alternatives that offer more choice and cheaper alternatives. Up until recently online travel agents have been offering a fairly commoditised service in exchange for discounted services – however, Expedia, the largest of its kind, is looking to change this with huge investments in data analysis to create personalized recommendations for its users. It hopes that this will drive proper brand engagement.
Andrew Warner, Expedia’s senior marketing director for EMEA, was speaking recently at a technology marketing conference in London, where he started a session by asking delegates: “What the f*ck is big data?”. A question most of you reading this have asked ourselves a number of times, I’m sure. Expedia has approximately 150 sites that operate in 70 countries around the world, with 50 million visitors a month and 200 mobile app downloads a minute, so this is a company with plenty of data.
To give you an idea of how much Expedia is investing to take advantage of this data, last year it spent £500 million in research and development, as well £2 billion on marketing.
READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Expedia is investing billions in data to create personalized ‘travel-graphs’.