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Making Travel and Shopping Easier for the Seasons Ahead

By: Vivek Kumar

Tuesday, July 12, 2016
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While most of us are busy making the most of the summer sunshine, marketers are already beginning to think about the coldest (and busiest) months of the year–the holidays. October through December are traditionally the biggest months for both travel and shopping, and this year we expect mobile to play its biggest role ever. In fact, mobile travel and shopping searches are already up nearly 30% year-over-year.

To help marketers and on-the-go shoppers alike, we’re introducing a number of new features to make travel planning and mobile shopping easier ahead of the upcoming holiday season.

Finding the Perfect Hotel and Flight for Your Trip

Mobile is a big part of how people plan travel. Visits to mobile travel sites made up 40% of total travel web traffic in the first quarter of this year.1 At the same time, individual travel web sessions are becoming shorter and travel mobile conversion rates have grown 10% as users are increasingly ready to book on mobile.2

To help with planning and booking travel ahead of the busy holiday season, we’re making it easier for people to find the right flight or the right hotel, in their price range, and in turn, help connect our partners with potential customers.

  • Hotel Smart Filters: We’ll now give people the option to filter Hotel search results based on specific needs. For example, travelers can filter based on rating or price with one tap on their phones. We’ll make it easy to search for exactly what people want, like “Pet-friendly hotels in San Francisco under $200” to find the perfect hotel for them. This feature is available in the US and will roll out globally later this year.

When it comes to booking their trip, 69% of leisure travelers worry that they’re not finding the best price or making the best decision. To help users feel more confident about making a booking, we’re working on making it easier for people to filter to find the right flight or the right hotel — at the right price — using our technology and real-time analysis:

  • Hotel Deals: Everyone loves a good deal. When searching for a hotel, you may now see a “Deal” label calling out when a hotel’s price is lower than usual compared to historical pricing or when there are discounts to the normal rate for those dates. These deals are automatically identified by our algorithms when we see a significant reduction in price. In our early tests, we’ve seen that hotels marked as deals receive about twice as many bookings as other hotels.
  • Hotel Tips: Tips are another way we’re using real-time analysis to help users find the best hotels for their needs. Tips provide just the right information at the right moments when users are searching for hotels. We may show Tips to people when they could save money or find better availability by moving their dates slightly. For example, you may see a Tip like, “Save $105 if you stay Wed, Jul 13 – Fri, Jul 15”. We’ll be rolling Hotel Deals and Tips out globally beginning now and over the coming months.
  • Flights price tracking: To help price-conscious travelers stay on top of changing flight fares, we’re making it easier to track flight prices in Google Flights. Instead of having to continually check prices, people can now opt in to track fare changes for a date and route combination or track specific flights being considered. When prices either increase or decrease significantly, people will be notified by email and Google Now cards. This is rolling out over the course of the next few weeks in all 26 countries where Google Flights is available.

Source: Google

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