MarketingSherpa has a great interview with the CEO of Zappos.com the online shoe retail store. It’s a great success story and worth reading by travel marketers.
I find this one very relevant for the price driven online travel market:
Shortly after joining the company in 2000, Hsieh had his marketing team test discounts and ecoupons for six months. What they discovered was that these tactics attracted too many price-minded, one-time customers rather than brand loyalists.
“In terms of the three major areas — service, selection and price — you can really only offer two of them at the same time,” he says. “Our brand [niche] was in service and selection.”
Unfortunately the online travel industry has painted itself into the lowest price corner ever since the beginning and it might take some time to get out of it. In the end the key success factor for any business is adding value and exceeding customer expectations. Only then price becomes less of a factor. It works for them in a very competitive market.