Google’s getting into travel – and it’s perfectly positioned to be a disruptor
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Google’s getting into travel – and it’s perfectly positioned to be a disruptor

In the ecommerce arena, personalisation has become a driving force of market dominance. Companies like Netflix and Amazon rely on powerful algorithms to present curated results to their customers that they’re more likely to find appealing. And even in a year notable for its worries over online privacy (do you really want Jeff Bezos knowing your secret dreams and fears?) this strategy remains vitally important. There’s a simple reason for that: well targeted sales, marketing and entertainment aren’t just more effective – they’re better. We want to consume things that appeal to us. Of course, the biggest player in this game is Google – and now, it wants to crack a new market: travel.

Alphabet’s share price has declined by 1% over the past 5 days, as a narrow earnings miss continues to weigh on the stock

graph 1411 google

Source: Yahoo Finance

Big data has given companies the opportunity to anticipate and meet customer needs to far greater levels than we’ve ever seen before. Google itself is the poster-child for this trend, with access to enormous amounts of data like search history and customer demographics. That’s the engine behind its search advertising business: new-world ad targeting. It’s effective, and now the company wants to put all that data to another use, boosting its travel services, which cover everything from activity recommendations and destination guides to flight and hotel search functionality.

Gillian Morris, the travel tech expert behind Hitlist (a price comparison search app) explains why Google has the power to be a major disruptor in the online travel space: “One reason why it’s so hard to innovate and give satisfying experiences in the travel industry is that companies rarely know anything about you; you don’t log in to Kayak or Expedia so that they can learn what you like. Personalization is difficult when you don’t have a clear picture of the traveller. But Google has so much info through your email, flight confirmations—everything—they actually can deliver that magical trip experience.”

Disclosure
Dominion holds Alphabet, the parent company of Google, in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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