Advertisement
04/13/2021

What Hotels Can Learn from Vrbo’s Vacay Finder

Using a quick interactive quiz, Vrbo was able to offer personalized vacation destination recommendations to 80k consumers, and 25% of them booked a vacation rental.

Quarantine has given all of us a bit of cabin fever. Families are dreaming about their next big trip, and many are looking to plan a safe, stress-free getaway sooner rather than later - everyone needs an escape from time-to-time, after all.

This was the challenge Vrbo came to Wyng with: How could Vrbo keep its customers engaged and safe if they traveled during the pandemic? Enter the new Vrbo Vacay Finder, a microexperience built on the Wyng Platform that provides individualized vacation destination recommendations based on a traveler’s personal preferences.

“People want to be thinking about their next family getaway and have something to look forward to,” said Lucy Higson, Customer Marketing Strategist at Vrbo. “We wanted to find a creative way to engage travelers and provide personalized recommendations for their next travel destinations.

VACAY IDEAS FOR EVERYONE’S NEEDS

The Vrbo Vacay Finder is a single-page quiz that starts with a series of four questions to gather personal travel preferences:

  • Regional location within the U.S.
  • The desired season for your family to travel
  • Type of destination: city, beach, etc.
  • The ideal level of activity for your family

The experience features unique answer displays, including both images and text to highlight answer choices. For example, the quiz starts with a map graphic of the U.S., with the names of each region overlaid on top. The visual aesthetic makes answering the questions less of a chore and more like a game. 

map
graphical user interface, text, application, email

By asking these quick questions, Vrbo understands each customer's unique travel preferences and interests. This zero-party data enables the brand to provide highly relevant, personalized trip recommendations both in the moment and in future interactions.

After finishing the quiz, users are asked to provide their names and email addresses, and opt-in to receive marketing email messages from the brand. The footer beneath the form is clear and easy to understand, and it includes a link to the Vrbo privacy policy.

Lastly, the results page outlines a user’s personalized destination recommendations based on how they answered the quiz questions. They can share their outcome with friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, or email. 

The result page also includes a dynamic ‘Trip Board’ section that allows for friends and family to collaborate to create a vacation itinerary together. The Wyng experience links out to the Vrbo website, so users can finalize their travel plans and begin booking their trip.

Lower on the results page, there is a gallery that contains all possible destination results. This allows users to explore other destinations without having to retake the quiz. Users can select filters or click on destination images for more vacation idea inspiration. The clickable tags facilitate a continuous journey of discovering more local vacation opportunities. This unique section proved powerful, as the results showed that, on average, users explored two additional vacation experiences before leaving the page.

IMPACT AND THE FUTURE

So far, the Vrbo Vacay Finder has resonated with would-be travelers during the pandemic. Nearly 80,000 people took the quiz in the first three months.

 

Vrbo Vacay Finder Microexperience

In first 3 months...

23% of visitors completed the quiz

25% of those who completed the quiz clicked to book on Vrbo.com

27% of travelers clicked ‘related recommendations’ in the gallery

Part of the reason for this has to do with the design of the solution - it’s simple, clean, visual, and has auto-scroll functionality as each question is answered.

The key to a successful quiz strategy is to continue to optimize, learn from the data, adjust to evolving restrictions, and adapt to the ever-changing digital consumer. By partnering with Wyng, brands like Vrbo can continuously update quizzes by asking new questions, allowing the brands to get to know their consumers better and provide them with the best possible experiences at each interaction.

graphical user interface

THE “ZERO-PARTY DATA” OPPORTUNITY FOR HOSPITALITY BRANDS

Data deprecation is a hot topic for marketers in hospitality. Waves of privacy regulations (like GDPR in 2018, CCPA in 2020, and CPRA which takes effect in 2023) and tech platform restrictions (like the demise of third-party cookies and Apple’s IDFA) are cutting off traditional sources of data and disrupting widespread marketing practices.

The Vrbo Vacay Finder points to a privacy-friendly solution: zero-party data. By engaging travelers directly and asking them for their personal preferences and interests, along with consent, Vrbo gets the data it needs to personalize customer interactions.

Generally, zero-party data (“ZPD”) is all of the consent-based personal context data — preferences, interests, tastes, favorites, plans, etc. — that customers intentionally and proactively share with a brand, in order to improve their experience with that brand. In a 2020 report, Forrester Research stated, “ZPD gives brands a unique opportunity to not only learn more about a customer, but also fold that customer's input directly into her immediate and long-term experience. Tellingly, 49% of marketers say zero-party data is their most favored solution to data deprecation risk, according to Econsultancy.

Hotels and restaurants can collect ZPD by creating fun, engaging quizzes like the Vrbo Vacy Finder, as well as polls, surveys, preference centers, and other interactive experiences — and then use the ZPD to provide highly-relevant and personalized content, recommendations and offers to customers.

With the Vrbo quiz in mind, here are a few quiz idea starters for hotels:

Quiz Concept

Personalized Result

Travel personality quiz

Travel inspiration and destination discovery

Resort finder

Find the right resort for you

Itinerary planner

Personalize your stay

Depending on the concept, quizzes can reveal ZPD such as: who is actively planning travel and when, who will be traveling and for what purpose, and preferred destinations and activities. Some of the data may be long-lived (e.g. the number of family members), while other data may be shorter-lived (e.g. timing for a family vacation).

And remember, the ZPD collected via the quiz can be used not only to deliver the personalized quiz result in the moment, but also to personalize future communications across channels.