Paul Hennessy, CEO of Priceline.com, spoke today at the Skift Global Forum.
Hennessy has been at Priceline.com for the better part of the last 15 years and during that time witnessed the birth of the conversion process at the dawn of the Internet and online travel. In April he became CEO of the brand after his tenure as CMO of Booking.com for the past four years, where he had a lofty view of the Priceline Group’s expansion as it sought to keep pace with the lengthening conversion funnel by acquiring a metasearch brand like Kayak in 2013.
Hennessy’s talk “Why Conversion is the Most Important Metric in Travel” explored why conversion is the most important measure of success in online travel, from metasearch to search engines to what it means for advertising. Here are 4 things we learned:
- Simplicity and personalization are the answers to unlocking the future of conversion on the mobile web experience.
- Be transparent with the conversion process and keep the customer at the center, serving customers geo-relevant deals and offerings are key.
- Younger generations not watching as much TV doesn’t make Priceline.com more reliant on Google.
- Hennessy strives to run his brand autonomously while focusing on the customer rather than the competition, and Priceline Group brands also aim for autonomy from one another.
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And thanks to all the sponsors that made Skift Global Forum 2015 possible: Adobe, Amadeus, American Express, Boxever, Big Bus Tours, CendyneOne, Cheapoair, Criteo, Gogo, HelloGbye, Hornblower Cruises, MasterCard, Mindtree, National Geographic, NewsCred, Sabre, SiteMinder, Travel Channel, TurkeyHome, Uber, Underline, Virtuoso, and Yahoo.