HRS eases booking process for business travel

Leading travel service delivers personalized recommendations for audiences at various stages of the booking process, sees a significant uplift in RPU
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Significant uplift in
revenue per user

after personalizing the homepage recommendations for booking abandoners
Boosted revenue per user for specific target audiences by up to 2.5%
by displaying recently viewed accommodations on the homepage for returning visitors

Introduction

As one of the top-three hotel portals in Europe, HRS has become a leader in travel for both personal and business travelers. Since 1972, the company has been providing a corporate booking solution to simplify the planning process, finding the best accommodations for customers and servicing over 3,000 multinational corporations globally. But knowing business travelers are limited in their choices, to better address each user’s intent and needs, HRS turned to Dynamic Yield to personalize the booking process. And after experimenting with a set of new recommendation strategies on the homepage, the team was able to optimize its listings for audiences at various stages of the funnel, generating significant uplift in revenue per user.
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“At HRS, our main goal is to take the unnecessary work out of business travel. By partnering with Dynamic Yield, we’ve been able to ease the booking process, connecting travelers with the accommodations that best suit their distinct needs and preferences. We couldn’t be happier with the impact it’s had, especially on customer loyalty.”
Ulrike Thunack, eCommerce & Audience Experience at HRS

The Challenge

Because business trips are typically pre-determined, tech-savvy business travelers tend to simply go through the motions of booking, making it difficult to influence the decision-making process. To encourage greater engagement during accommodation selection, HRS was looking to amplify the impact of its homepage by:
    
  • Displaying results based on user affinity
  • Expediting the booking process by serving recommendations
  • Providing a unique journey for audiences at different stages of the funnel
That’s when they turned to the recommendation engine and personalization capabilities of Dynamic Yield.

Execution

Urged visitors to complete a booking with recommendations based on previously viewed hotels
Hoping to influence those earlier in the decision-making process, HRS targeted visitors that viewed specific hotel detail pages but did not initiate the booking process. Recommendations included previously viewed listings, and despite not knowing this audience’s travel dates or destinations, the strategy managed to drive an uplift of up to 2.5% in revenue per user for specific target audiences, in addition to a significant increase in impressions.
Homepage recommendations for users who viewed a hotel detail page within the last 30 days
Encouraged booking abandoners to convert with recommendations based on recently viewed hotels
In order to recover users that started the booking process within the last 14 days, but ultimately abandoned, HRS began serving homepage recommendations based on recently viewed hotels. Tested against a control group with no homepage recommendations, providing cart abandoners with quick access to hotels they had already shown an interest in resulted in a notable uplift in revenue per user. And upon analyzing the audience more deeply, HRS found the strategy worked especially well for logged-in users, a valuable insight their team can use to inform future tests.
Homepage recommendations for users that abandoned a booking within the last 14 days
Re-engaged past bookers with recommendations based on previously booked hotels
Targeting desktop visitors who booked a hotel at least twice in the last 30 days, the team served recommendations above-the-fold, providing quick access to preferred hotels. In doing so, HRS saw uplifts in revenue per user and discovered this audience is not very price-sensitive, booking hotels based on personal preference over cheaper alternatives.
Homepage recommendations for users who booked at least twice in the last 30 days
Looking ahead, the company plans to run a larger test, widening this audience segment to one booking per 30 days, in addition to optimizing the order of search results, displaying previously booked hotels first to urge repeat bookers to quickly convert again.

The Key Takeaway

The decision-making process of business travelers is significantly different than that of the average consumer traveler. They often conduct little research and, instead, book accommodations based on familiarity and preferences. Realizing the user experience needed to be specifically tailored to this type of traveler, HRS partnered with Dynamic Yield to personalize the homepage, deploying a number of recommendation strategies to ensure a convenient booking process, ultimately generating significant uplifts in revenue per user, including a 2.5% boost for specific audiences.

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