Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Don't book - barter

Chatting with the boss of a new online travel company this morning, he said during the planning stage for the website a series of focus groups were conducted to check ideas out with consumers.

One of the big dilemmas for the company, which specialises in high-end and exclusive products, was whether to include a booking engine, so users could snap up products such as luxury hotels, attractions and expensive restaurants direct on the site.

Apparently, an overwhelming majority - 90%, in fact - of those that took part said no because "they still wanted to barter to get a decent price", so would therefore prefer just the telephone number of the hotel!

And who said good old fashioned human interaction is dead?!?

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

1 comment:

Steve E said...

That wouldlead me to think that there is a place in the market for a well developed bartering platform online. Imagine a community based site where users can post up the holiday they are looking for (destination, hotels, excursions, price bracket) and have agents, tour ops and online players all reply with their best (or nearest) offers.

Could work quite nicely (or would it?) and would be a true piece of collaborative real estate. Kind of reverses the model of Kelkoo et al in that instead of the user searching endlessly for deals, the merchants would search for requests they could fulfill.