I can feel a trend building with my blogs. The last post, D, started with me telling you that I was interviewing my friend Dave at an airport, as we waited for a flight home after a ski trip. When I sat down to write E, I thought about my recent purchasing experiences, to help me decide who to write about next in the A-Z of Marketing Experts. A couple of weeks before the first ski trip with Dave and my other friends, I had booked flights to Canada for the following month, for my second ski trip of the year. So this time, E is for Expedia.
I Want to Buy from You
I’d been invited to go skiing with family in Canada in February. All I needed to do was book and pay for my flights, in order to meet my sister-in-law at Calgary airport at a particular time, on a particular day. I also decided that since I was pretty much passing, I would stop off in Toronto on the way home, to spend a couple of days with my best friend. I did a similar trip two years ago with Air Canada, so went straight to their website to look for flights. However, it wasn’t easy to buy a multi-city trip and the first price I was quoted was double what I was expecting. I want to buy flights and I want the experience to be easy. I don’t have much patience, you see!
So I went off to do something else and during that time, saw an advert on the TV for Expedia, the travel booking company. I visited their website and liked what I saw. The first thing that you’re presented with is a form to fill in for your chosen travel dates, with options for multi-city trips, additions for hotels, car hire and anything else that you might need to create your perfect holiday. Expedia doesn’t ask you to register or log in – they don’t want your contact details at this stage, as some other booking sites do. They just want to help you find the right options at the right price. Their clever filters also help you select flights by the number of stop overs, price or length.
I found the flights that I wanted, on the right days and at the right price. So I bought them. Interestingly, all three flights are with Air Canada, but bought through Expedia and for far less than Air Canada quoted me. I guess that Air Canada will still make money from me, but Expedia will have earned something too and I’m more likely to return to them the next time I need to make travel arrangements (for skiing or anything else!)
Make it Easy to Buy from You
The day before writing this blog I was looking for a courier service to return a package to the company from whom I’d bought it. I called the supplier to ask which courier they used and they pointed me to the company’s website. I spent quite a bit of time looking around the site, failing to find any prices or way of getting an online quote from them (which is what I’ve since discovered most other courier companies offer.) Eventually I resorted to the old-fashioned method of picking up the phone and calling the courier. I was told by a rather unfriendly person that they don’t deal with the public – they only work with ‘suppliers’ who have accounts with them. “May I open an account with you?” I enquired. “No – you’re not a supplier,” he grunted. “So why doesn’t your website say that? Haven’t you heard of marketing copy … oh what’s the point?!” and that’s when I hung up! No patience, see.
It’s a shame that Expedia don’t (yet) provide a courier service – I’m sure they’d be great at it and that it would be really easy to book and pay for a collection!
How easy is it for clients to buy from you? Marketing isn’t just about promoting your business and generating enquiries from prospects. When those prospects visit your website or call your office, you need to make it easy for them to buy from you, or they will quickly leave and go somewhere else. That’s marketing too and it’s something that Expedia do very well.
In the A-Z of Marketing Experts, who is F for? If you would like to be interviewed for this blog – for any of the letters – please do get in touch and let me know what you’d like to share.