Accommodation newcomer bedfinder breaks US market in a matter of months
Hotelplan is the largest tour operator in Switzerland. Successfully active in several European markets, this leading tour operator was now looking for opportunities to grow. In 2016, Hotelplan launched bedfinder, a new initiative to accelerate growth on a global scale. Focused on international markets and new distribution channels, bedfinder is a digital and disruptive brand, dedicated to the online sourcing, production and distribution of travel products on a global scale.
Currently, bedfinder is focused on hotels. It comprises a small but powerful team of five based in Glattbrugg, Switzerland, along with twelve call center agents, dedicated to boosting bedfinder online accommodation bookings worldwide.
Launching a new, online brand with new product was a major growth opportunity for Hotelplan – as the Internet is a global platform that breaks down international boundaries - but also a major challenge.
To differentiate from the competition and increase margins, bedfinder had to offer multi supplier hotel accommodation covering both core holiday destinations as well as long tail, niche products. To increase sales and ultimately grow the business, bedfinder also needed to reach new customer groups, in new markets and expand into new sales channels, such as traffic giant Google.
The existing IT infrastructure had to be lean and based on a platform able to serve all target countries. It also needed to be scalable and most importantly, be capable of handling the mass traffic that would be generated from Google, with speed and accuracy, in order to offer an outstanding customer experience and build a loyal customer base.
As Hotelplan’s tour operations already run on the Peakwork platform, bedfinder quickly built its own hotel portfolio to package hotel products from external sources worldwide coming from bedbanks and other hotel suppliers in the Peakwork Network. Using the Player Hub technology via a high performance cache, bedfinder instantly accesses rates, currencies, availability, business rules and languages, which are handled centrally from the numerous suppliers feeding their offers into the solution.
After 8 months in development, the bedfinder brand was launched on Google in the United States – a brand new market for the Swiss tour operator. Just three months later, in December 2016, bedfinder became available on Google UK. Using Google facilitated bookings offers instant bookings and therefore significant conversion increase from major traffic streams. And the results prove this:
In just 5 months of operation, the business has already achieved a significant turnover and a huge number of new customers. And in January 2017 alone, the site has taken an outstanding number of bookings per week.
Using Peakwork’s flexible and powerful technology, both Google and bedfinder.com offer flexible and easy access to numerous travel offers to its customers.
Gabriel Seijo Leiro, Project Manager at Peakwork, adds: ”The flexibility and power of Peakwork technology swiftly opens new channels in completely new markets for our customers whilst growing our own global network.”
Based on the success of Google in the US and UK, bedfinder plans to enter more Google markets around the world as well as developing partnerships with other metasearch portals, including Kayak, Trivago and Tripadvisor.
Update July 2017: bedfinder is now also available on Trivago in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, and New Zeeland. Rates and availabilities are powered by Peakwork technology.
bedfinder is also looking to extend its product portfolio with flights and packages, along with offering white label solutions to increase distribution via affiliate brand and marketing partners.
Concludes Katja Altmann, CEO bedfinder: ”Our new brand successfully started in the US, followed by the UK and we are now looking for more markets. With the help of Peakwork technology, international boundaries in this digital world simply disappear.”