Back to resources

How to Tap Into Latent User Demand in a Marketplace


22 February, 2022

Ankur Sharma
Ankur Sharma

Vice President of Product & Engineering at Perkbox

Ankur Sharma, Vice President of Product & Engineering at Perkbox, shares his experience using customer feedback to find a new area of growth in an already successful industry.

Finding New Areas of Growth

When you are already the largest e-commerce player in the market, it is always a challenge to find new areas to grow. This is what happened with us when Goibibo was already the largest B2C player in the Hotel industry. It was difficult to find the next feature or product to build, seeing that we already faced many successes.

Using Customer Latency

We built “Hourly Bookings” to drive growth in the TG of business travelers, pilgrimage, and transit hyper-locations. This helped us cater to the latent demand of users who only wanted hotels for a few hours and not for the whole day.

Using the rigor of daily data observations, when we triangulated quantitative data (funnel, increase in transactions happening at specific cities like Pilgrimage & hyper-locations like airports and train stations) and qualitative data (Focus Group Discussion, surveys of people who dropped off the funnel at payment at these cities and hyper-location in the advanced purchase window of 0 to 3)
, it dawned on us that we are on to something. We realized that there is a user need for a product where a user can stay for less than 1 room a night, which was not offered by any Online Travel Marketplace at that time.

We identified customer needs and target locations as:

  1. Pilgrimage travelers: Many pilgrimage travelers look for a 3, 6 hours stay for a fresh-up before and/or after the pilgrimage activity in the town.
  2. Transit Travellers: Need at a transit hyper-location like Airport, Bus-stand and Railway stations where the customer may need a room before the boarding / after the de-boarding.
  3. Highways: Traveller may need a 1 to 3 hours break during the long road trip.
  4. Four and Five Star Hotels: This use case will serve the need of the leisure traveler who wants to avail luxury hotel amenities like pool, lounge, spa, etc. by paying a lot lesser.

On the supply side of the marketplace, we spoke to sellers (in this case, hoteliers) (and identified hoteliers’ objectives as

  1. Liquidate unsold inventory
  2. Capture online demand for micro stays

We first ran a proof of concept in a specific geography with 11 hotels and a soft launch on the web at a pilgrimage location. Success Metrics for the POC were:

  1. Higher transaction and GMV for the participating hotels
  2. Higher Occupancy Rate for Hotels
  3. Higher conversion rate than funnel (because of lower ATV)
  4. Incremental transactions 

The POC execution helped us in identifying what works (successful in driving the higher occupancy rates, better conversion and incremental transactions) and what needs to be improved upon (Better visibility at the top of the funnel, flexible slot timings and pricing) - we arrived at a playbook for supply to roll this out in multiple cities and scale this simultaneously in the funnel.

Using the playbook, we could quickly scale the hourly bookings product in 300 hotels in 9 cities, bringing in 2.5% incremental transactions per day at a higher conversion rate than the funnel. This taught us the massive value of building a playbook as well as keeping an eye on new trends by triangulating the data.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader

Related stories

A Day in the Life of a Product Lead in FinTech – A Series

31 January

Discover the daily struggles, challenges, and moments of delight encountered when delivering banking products around the world. I will share my story candidly and honestly, without filter as much as I am allowed, and offer insights into my approach while providing retrospectives of the results.

Embracing Failures
Cultural Differences
Career Path
Loussaief Fayssal

Loussaief Fayssal


How to measure Engineering Productivity?

30 November

When you grow fast, its normal to focus on Value delivery aka "Feature Releases". Too many releases too soon will inevitably lead to piling tech debts and before you know, inefficiencies creep in, performances goes down, and ultimately any new release takes too long. Sounds familiar? Then read on..

Ramkumar Sundarakalatharan

Ramkumar Sundarakalatharan

VP - Engineering at ITILITE Technologies

How I failed at my startup

14 October

There are nine specific building blocks and functional areas every org/company need to work to launch the product and provide services to customers. How effectively founders tackle them determine the destiny of the company.

Mission / Vision / Charter
Scaling Team
Building A Team
Praveen Cheruvu

Praveen Cheruvu

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Anaplan

Assessing the Performance of Your Team

20 August

Parallels between Work and Sport.

Goal Setting
Different Skillsets
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Ron Pragides

Ron Pragides

SVP Engineering at Trustly Group AB

Scaling a Team in Two Parts: The Product and Manager

2 August

Viswa Mani Kiran Peddinti, Sr Engineering Manager at Instacart, walks through his experience scaling a team, product and his skills as a leader.

Managing Expectations
Scaling Team
Viswa Mani Kiran Peddinti

Viswa Mani Kiran Peddinti

Sr Engineering Manager at Instacart