This summer while booking my trip to Europe I noticed something I hadn’t seen before across a number of hotel aggregator sites: the use of real-time notifications to ‘let you know’ who is also looking at the same hotel and when the last room booked was.
I’m not exactly what I think about this tactic as a consumer, but I’m sure it’s effective for sellers.
Having the constant pop-ups is a similar feeling to being in a bricks and mortar store where you’re ‘considering buying a shirt,’ but have put it back on the rack. Someone else walks up and starts looking at the same shirt! It’s both a validation (that you had a good eye) and a major source of pressure — now that other person might now take the shirt and leave you high and dry!
Anyway it’s interesting to see the web evolve, especially e-commerce as it tries to replicate more tactics from the offline world. These real time notifications strike me as a really different approach and one that is likely to spread to other verticals outside of hotels very soon.
To see for yourself, surf around on Booking.com and click through several hotels where they are showing limited inventory.
Image above is for a London hotel via Booking.com.