Traveldoo is part of the Expedia group and there are some really great discussions across and between the different product departments about “what works” and what the future of travel booking is. The topic of Door-to-Door bookings came up recently, an approach tried in different ways by Rome-to-Rio, KDS and Serko amongst others. Simple idea really, don’t impose a shopping experience on people. Do all that leg work for them and just give them a book button.
At one point in the discussion, one of the senior guys in the organisation totally nailed it, for me, with the following opinion: “Door-to-Door? It’s a brilliant idea! Unfortunately, it’s the wrong brilliant idea” What he meant was that, while we could all admire the ambition and the elegance of the concept, it’s not what users want. There is a reason why, when you ask people what their favourite pastime is, they will often say “shopping”. Peering into a decorated holiday window or finding a hard-to-find toy appears to tap into the brain’s reward center, triggering the release of brain chemicals that give you a “shopping high.” It’s the same when you are picking out a great hotel for your next business trip or securing that emergency exit seat with the extra legroom.
Door-to-Door, which aims to save you from the trauma of shopping for your business trip is trying to be a kind of technology based pain-relief but the low uptake of the approach by actual travel bookers shows that it’s more a case of pleasure-prevention.
One of the mantra’s of the product approach in the Expedia group is “test-and-learn”. Our parent company has more than 189 billion rows of consumer behaviour data. We analyse and use this data to make every booking better. Data informs how we build our products for business travel. So, when the test data says that, when given the choice, people don’t want a door-to-door experience, we learn to forge a different future.