Large hotel database
The fact that booking.com has a large hotel database made it a preferred choice for travelers looking for a variety of options.
Acquiring Active Hotels
The Priceline Group, the parent company for Booking.com, acquired another company called ActiveHotels which had information on hotels in Europe. This helped the company have a powerful start in Europe as it managed to get a populated database of hotels.
The move to agency model
In 2005, the big players like Expedia were using a merchant model for Booking. Booking.com replaced the merchant model with the retail or agency model. The agency model proved to be more successful and helped Booking.com grow fast.
One of the advantages of using the agency model is being able to give better prices to customers. This helped Booking.com gain a price advantage over most other competitors.
The process was simpler
The shift to agency model helped Booking.com have simpler operations compared to the complex steps required by other competitors to run their business. (See Why is YouTube so popular?)
The site has very high conversion rates
The website for Booking.com was designed in such a way that it increases conversion rates by creating a sense of urgency through its popup messages and notifications. People feel urged to book fast and many end up converting.
They did proper online marketing
Booking.com relies heavily on paid ads to bring search engine users. The company managed to find the right formula to bring in clients through ads then convert a sufficient amount of them to customers. (See How to Start a Successful Blog?)
Success with independent hotels
Booking.com has managed to include a large number of independent hotels in its offering. As the customer had more choices, he found booking.com more useful.
Customers pay when they arrive
The pricing model Booking.com uses allows hotels to collect the money when the customer checks in. This makes the process of booking easier for customers.
Maintaining original management
According to an executive from Priceline, one of the reasons booking.com succeeded is that the original entrepreneurs who founded the company were kept. Those people were very enthusiastic to make their company grow.
Giving original management more freedom
Priceline gave the original management more freedom and flexibility. They didn’t try to force them to play by their own rules, and as a result, the management was more able to make the company successful.
Great service on all platforms
According to Olivier Voute, director of mobile marketing at Booking.com, one of the main reasons of the success of the business was being able to provide the same good experience on all platforms, especially mobile devices.
Why is Booking.com so successful?
How Booking.com conquered the world? The Story Behind Booking.com Success Story