Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Wish Lists Lift Conversions

March 17th, 2010

Personal travel arrangements often require coordination with other parties, whether it’s your spouse, friends or other family members. That’s why travel activity retailer Viator’s sharable wish lists are such a great idea.
Viator Product Page - add to wish list
Many ecommerce sites offer wish lists to visitors. They’re especially useful during the holiday season when families are figuring out what to buy one another. The impression I’ve gleaned from marketers is wish lists are useful, but they’re not a strong ongoing performance driver.

Online travel, on the other hand, has a more practical application for wishing. Friends and family members going on trips often coordinate what to do and send each other ideas. Viator’s wish lists make it easy for travelers to share ideas, and the team places “Add to my wish list” links prominently on their product pages.

I noticed these lists during a conversation with Kelly Gillease, Marketing Director, Viator. Visitors can view items on their wish lists directly on the homepage. From the homepage, with one click, they can view a form to send the list to up to three people with a personalized message.

“We do get a fair number of people creating wish lists, emailing them and sharing them,” Gillease says. “We’ve found it really does help boost our conversion rates.”

Gillease’s team plans to build on this success by creating account pages where site visitors can view all their lists, among other features.

Are there other effective applications for wish lists that you’re seeing? Are they helping lift your conversion rates? Let us know in the comments, and thank you.

Adding Retail Revenue Streams

January 7th, 2010

When shoppers visit supermarkets and large retailers, they’re bound to see branded in-store displays. The stores add revenue while helping brands stand out. Why not apply this idea to ecommerce?

That’s just what Doug Miller, Global VP, Media Solutions, Expedia Inc., and his team have done with several Expedia Inc. properties including, and

The team started leveraging their reach into the consumer travel market when Miller joined about five years ago. Miller says about 61% of visits to travel websites are to Expedia properties.

“They are very few places, probably nowhere else, where you’re going to be able to reach an online travel audience in such a concentrated way.”

This qualified high-volume travel audience presents a great opportunity to sell media. Expedia’s world-wide media business, a which encompasses more than Miller’s team’s work, accounts for about 10% of their total business and growing fast, Miller says.

Take a look at these four media options. They might give you ideas for leveraging your own audience:

StorePoint Ads

The team’s first program offered display ads that reached several Expedia Inc. sites. The banners are shown:
o Adjacent to search results
o On the homepage
o On browsing pages
o On content pages for various destinations

“This is where Hawaii or Mexico or American Airlines will call out to you and say they have a special opportunity for you at the point of sale,” Miller says.

Expandable StorePoint Ads

The team later updated the StorePoint technology to offer marketers the option to integrate interactive rich-media ads. The Flash-based ads expand over site content when clicked, and retract to their normal size when visitors move away.

Once expanded, the ads can offer a range of functionality, including:
o Audio and video
o Data capture fields
o Interactive animation
o Send to a friend


The team offers marketers a bid-for-placement, sponsored listings program specifically designed for hotels. The ads are featured at the top of search results pages on and for location-based searches bid on by marketers. These marketers can bid on specific locations and time periods, and set a maximum budget to control their spending.


This year, the team launched a behaviorally-targeted ad format that reaches Web surfers after they’ve left an Expedia site. For example, an visitor might search for and browse for hotels in Venice, leave the site, and later see ads elsewhere for Italian vacations.

The team works with several ad networks and sister companies to make the program work across a wide range websites, some in the comScore top 100, Miller says.