Technology

Travolution Summit Preview: Chatbots will smooth the path to purchase

Posted by Lee Hayhurston
Travolution Summit Preview: Chatbots will smooth the path to purchase

Chatbots, driven by the leading edge artificial intelligence technology, will become a vital tool in driving customers down the purchase funnel more quickly and efficiently.

That’s the view of Justin Reid, head of destinations at the world’s most influential travel website TripAdvisor.

Reid is a keynote speaker at this year’s Travolution Summit that will be held on London on September 28.

He will tell delegates that bots are primed to play a key role in making travellers much more informed about destinations and encouraging them to book.

Reid said: “The internet has got a little bit big for some people – one size does not necessarily fit all. If you look at the user base for chatbots, it’s not necessarily early adopters.

“It’s often people in their 30s or 50s who want to make that holiday decision easier. It’s still the most important aspect of their year and we want to make it easier for them.”

In terms of the scale of data, TripAdvisor is able to draw on more than most companies but the aim is to hone its algorithm in the back-end to not overwhelm the front-end user interface.

“It’s all about how we can convince someone to push that final button. There is so much choice, there is too much choice.

“People suffer from a paralysis because of that choice so that conversion percentages are dropping because they think there’s always another deal out there.

“What we are trying to focus on is convincing people that there is enough data for them to be confident to make a decision.”

TripAdvisor will strive to show the most relevant hotels by matching its millions of reviews with the experiences its users are searching for, said Reid.

“If you are a hotel it’s still up to you to give the best experience to your customers and we will surface that to the wider audience.

“It’s not what makes us most money, it’s what is the best for that user based on the reviews of their piers because that in turn will result in the best experience for the user.

“It’s enabling people to have the best holiday and then you are more likely to go back to whoever guided you to that holiday.”

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