Saturday, April 13, 2024

Expedia launches industry-first ‘Shoppable’ platform with Brand USA

Expedia Group Media Solutions, Expedia Group’s global travel advertising platform, unveiled a new media platform, the first-ever advertising and travel technology platform of its kind that gives travelers the tools to shop and book travel as they are watching travel content, making entertainment tourism bookable.

Using the “shoppable” platform technology, the company is partnering with Brand USA, the USA’s international destination marketing organization, to create a channel for their content to be ‘shopped’, called GoUSA. Featuring Brand USA’s inspirational travel content and interactive maps, the innovative hub showcases the breadth and depth of engaging travel content for a diversity of trips across the USA while simultaneously giving travelers a way to book hotels, experiences and flights while the content is being viewed in real time. The platform is specifically designed to pair travel options inspired by the tailored content being viewed with bookable supply from Expedia, while allowing Brand USA to track and measure the impact of their content on travelers’ booking decisions, and particularly which content is generating the most engagement from travelers and influencing bookings. The site recently went live in Canada with additional markets in the pipeline.

“This platform is truly the first of its kind in a world where inspirational travel content is constantly evolving and symbolizes the next phase in entertainment tourism. The new technology creates a space where someone can consume engaging travel content and book experiences in the same place at the same time, effectively ‘shopping the series’, said Angelique Miller, Vice President, Media Studios at Expedia Group. “We’re thrilled Brand USA are working with us and that we can extend the reach of their exciting and innovative travel content to new audiences by marrying it up with our breadth and depth of bookable hotel, flights and activities options on our sites.”

This new shoppable streaming platform bridges the gap in travel marketing between the growing influence of streamed movies and TV on tourism and travel bookings. According to Expedia Group’s 2023 Travel Trends Report, 39 per cent of global travelers booked a vacation to a destination they saw in a movie or TV show they streamed. Expedia research also found that destinations seen in movies or on TV are among the most influential sources of travel inspiration, with streamed movies or TV significantly outperforming the influence of social media. 

“At Brand USA, we pride ourselves in being the nation’s storyteller and bringing U.S. cities and states to life through compelling short and long form video content. We understand that film and TV is a powerful motivator of travel”, said Staci Mellman, Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing at Brand USA. “We are excited to be partners with Expedia Group in launching this new technology platform and for us, this initiative represents the next evolution of storytelling – guiding consumers from awareness to action by giving them the opportunity to directly book what they see on screen.”

The return on investment for inspirational travel content has been historically hard to measure for those operating in the travel and advertising industries. Through the platform, partners can more accurately track metrics, such as average time spent looking at content and number of visitors intent to book, to see how content is influencing bookings and demand. The platform can be scaled to support any partners’ content needs, including businesses outside the travel space.

This new platform also supports the Content Value Initiative, a newly formed grassroots organization by key players in the travel and hospitality space to help address the complexities of measuring the impact of content in the travel industry. By giving travel partners the ability to track and measure the impact of their content on travel booking decisions, this platform is a key step in the industry’s aim to create a standard measurement for the impact and value of content.

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