Microsoft’s Bing Travel
This is kind of new news… Microsoft deployed Bing, a new search decision experience, worldwide at http://www.Bing.com. Bing takes a new approach to helping customers use search to make better decisions, focusing initially on four key user tasks and related areas: making a purchase, planning a trip, researching a health condition or finding a local business.
Microsoft’s efforts to streamline & speed the decision making process is appreciated, but part of the process that may not have been represented in Microsoft’s survey (mentioned below) is the time needed to mull over the options. Most people do not make instantaneous decisions. For example, people need time to think over the possibilities of what they want, where & when to go if they travel, preparations for the trip (which may entail permission from supervisors, getting work done ahead of time, etc.).
According to a recent survey by Bing Travel, 52 percent of potential travelers search three or more sites before booking their airfare. Forty-two percent of travelers spend between one and four weeks weighing their travel options, and 17 percent spend more than one month. Bing Travel aims to dramatically reduce the amount of time consumers spend searching for travel information by presenting comprehensive results in one place, and to help consumers make more informed decisions with tools such as Price Predictor and Rate Indicator.
There is also the fact that the more convenient something is to find, the more likely people will purchase it. Countless studies have been made on this topic, and while convenience is not necessarily a bad thing, many people in today’s culture find it hard to decline a good deal even if they can not afford it.
If people don’t take the time to think, they are likely to purchase things they don’t need or perhaps should not get in the first place. For those who already have specifics in mind and a true need, such as attending a wedding or a conference, these features may be very useful.