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What’s Amazon’s Travel Offering Really About? (Travel Tuesday)

Real quick post this week, Big Thinkers, following up on Amazon’s recent entry into the travel space. Tnooz has a solid write-up of what Jeff Bezos’s crew over at Amazon currently offers its customers, but I’m inclined to think there’s a lot more at play here in the long run.

For instance, Tnooz criticizes Amazon’s lack of inventory, which, undoubtedly represents a longer-term challenge for Bezos & company. But, in the same breath, Tnooz notes,

“In a prepared statement, the company said: “We created Amazon Destinations to solve a problem most travelers face: how to easily plan and book a local getaway trip. Interestingly, more than 40% of all US domestic leisure trips are short-term getaways of 1-3 nights, and many of these trips are to nearby, drivable destinations.”

Um… 40% seems like a lot. Given that the overall US travel market represents over a trillion dollars in revenue every year, that puts at least $400 billion in play for Amazon — and its competitors — to try and nab a chunk. And, as ever, Amazon’s heavily focused on getting the experience right:

“…travelers often have a hard time planning local getaways.” Amazon seems to be trying to answer, in a highly “curated” way, this question from its customers: “Where can I go for a quick getaway without needing a flight?””

Smart plan.

What I found particularly cool about Amazon’s offering is how targeted they’ve made it. For instance, here’s a screenshot of the email the company sent me:

Amazon's travel offering

So, let’s see. Amazon is using data to target the needs of their best customers, attracting traffic and interest via email marketing, and focusing on the overall experience to drive bookings and revenues. I don’t think Amazon lacks for ambition. It just seems like they’re working hard to make sure they get it right. Call me crazy, but that sounds exactly like what hotel marketers ought to be doing, too.

And if you want to learn even more about how customers changing behavior shapes e-commerce and marketing, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also want to take a moment to review the slides from my recent webinar, “Digital Marketing Directions 2015: Three Key Trends Driving Your Hotel Marketing Next Year” here:

(And, yes… you can hire me to speak at your next event, too).

Finally, you might also want to check out some of our past coverage of the mobile, local, social web and how to make it work for your business, including:

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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