trivago Business Studio is the marketing platform for hoteliers worldwide to promote their properties to millions of potential guests on trivago. But who are the people behind this platform to make it all possible?
We give you an inside look at what it takes to create and run trivago Business Studio, from data to design to the coding that keeps it working like clockwork.
The shaping of trivago Business Studio
With over five million hotels and other types of accommodations advertised on trivago, travelers are spoiled for choice while searching to find the one that ticks all the right boxes. So, how can independent hoteliers, from the boutique B&B to the small chain, influence their presence in travelers’ search results, all the while measuring their performance on trivago?
Enter the Product Managers of trivago Business Studio to give them a hand. “Our goal is to make it quick and easy for hoteliers to manage their profiles and Rate Connect campaigns, so that they have one less thing to worry about,” Sian Williams explains. “We want them to be in control and feel confident that their property appears in the best light on trivago.
“Hoteliers are our greatest source of inspiration and innovation, too. We love translating their needs into feasible product ideas that we can offer in trivago Business Studio.
“For example, we received valuable feedback from hoteliers who wanted to understand trivago more, have a simpler entry point to optimize their profiles, and gain insights into their property’s appearance on trivago. We explored many different options and welcomed even more input from them along the way. The result is what hoteliers see in trivago Business Studio today.”
A design with you in mind
Seamless, intuitive, attractive, responsive. These are just a few words that describe the mission UI (user interface) and UX (user experience) designers aim to achieve while developing the best possible interaction for a company’s customers to have with its website.
“It’s very important for us to have a deep understanding of our target audience,” Alen Cvitković says. “One way we do that is by creating ‘user personas’ to represent them. These portraits help us to continuously enhance our current products, as well as design new features that are tailor-made to the hoteliers’ needs, motivations, and goals. At the same time, we also find ways to avoid (and remove) perceived complexities they could face while using trivago Business Studio.
“What’s more, when we test new concepts, or conduct rounds of feedback sessions, we know which hoteliers to invite because we’re guaranteed to receive actionable insights.”
“We can look at the home page of trivago Business Studio as an example,” Anil Ozsoy tells us. “We explored various ways we could display relevant information for hoteliers to keep track of their property’s performance on trivago. Once we created a prototype with the look and feel of a completed product, we set up 45-minute interviews online with hoteliers from different countries to understand what type of content they expected to see. The feedback guided us on how we could adjust the conceptual design to meet their needs, as well as continue offering a cohesive product experience under the trivago brand.”
To thrive in this world as a business, we all need data. For hoteliers who are advertising their website rates on trivago, the data that comes with their Rate Connect campaign is invaluable.
“Since Rate Connect is fully automated, we aggregate and export performance data for every campaign every morning,” Dani Deng, the team’s Data Scientist, explains. “When hoteliers check on their Rate Connect campaigns, they’ll see their performance visualized in graphs and tables that show click-outs, impressions, and all the essential details related to the direct bookings they’ve generated via trivago.
“All that rich data helps hoteliers keep track of their campaigns, as well as indicates the potential their property has in trivago’s marketplace. But we take it a step further by making the most of our data to develop new product features that can benefit hoteliers, too.
“A great example of this is when we carried out an analysis to see if hoteliers were missing out on the markets that could offer them more value for their campaigns. Our research revealed that they could experience better performance when their website rates were being advertised only in high-value markets.
“That conclusion motivated us to develop Automated Market Selection. Now hoteliers don’t have to guess which markets they should advertise their website rates in, let alone choose markets that are irrelevant to their campaigns. Automated Market Selection does the hard work for them by targeting the markets with the likelihood of a higher booking conversion based on cost-effectiveness and seasonality. This feature really helps to maximize a hotelier’s Rate Connect campaign on trivago.”
Promote your official direct rates to boost bookings.
The craft of coding
For Tomás Bangerter, the team’s Frontend Developer, the goal is to make sure the visual side functions as designed and envisioned.
“As trivago Business Studio has been evolving, more animation has also been integrated to produce another level of engagement. For instance, when hoteliers log in and reach the home page (or even refresh it), the CSS coding we use for a hotel’s conversion funnel animates the loading of the latest analytics as well as the flow of lines across the performance graph.
“For the analytics that we show in those sections, we need to consider the languages trivago Business Studio supports, too. For example, English uses a decimal point with a percentage, but other languages, like German and Italian, use a decimal comma. And in Turkish, the percentage sign actually comes before the number. In the end, it’s those fine details that influence the overall product experience.”
And who’s behind the scenes to make sure everything functions without a hitch? We can thank Mário Reichow, the team’s Backend Developer, for that. “Under the hood of trivago Business Studio, there are a multitude of services and processes up and running, from pausing pay-per-click campaigns that use up a monthly budget to sending in property details to appear on trivago profiles.
“One very important internal process we have in place is called Bidding Stream. Every day we calculate the ideal bid for every active Rate Connect campaign and submit it to participate in the trivago auction, competing for a nice spot in the rankings while simultaneously ensuring competitive pricing.
“This happens whenever any campaign change occurs, like switching markets or using bidding goals to boost the level of visibility in travelers’ search results. For our largest daily update, we send more than 100,000 bids in less than 15 minutes, handling data for all three Rate Connect campaign types and guaranteeing that the changes are displayed on trivago in an accurate and timely manner.”
Good to go?
If there’s one person who can give the green light to set product features live on trivago Business Studio, it’s Gökhan Vural, the team’s Quality Assurance Engineer. “Our QA process starts with creating an automated testing environment where we code a program to check if a new or updated feature is working as intended.
“For example, before we introduced pay-per-stay in Rate Connect, we ran a program that took a matter of minutes to test all the points of interaction a hotelier would have with this campaign type. That ranged from choosing it during the initial setup of Rate Connect to switching to it from a pay-per-click campaign.
“And when the testing doesn’t perform as planned? We’ll then ask our developers to look into it and help us find a solution. Once all the aspects of a new feature operate the way they should in a staged environment, it goes live on trivago Business Studio. But we don’t stop there. We’re always testing and fine-tuning our products, so that hoteliers have a smooth experience every time they log in.”
And that’s the team! We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know the individuals who are dedicated to innovating, creating, and keeping trivago Business Studio in motion for 500,000+ registered hoteliers around the world.
Photo by Filip Brtan at trivago