Back to resources

How to Tap Into Latent User Demand in a Marketplace

Customers
Product
Strategy
Users
Performance

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

The Art of Asking Why: Narrowing the Gap Between Customers and Users

24 May

Jord Sips, Senior Product Manager at Mews, shares his expertise on a common challenge for product managers – finding root causes and solutions.

Customers
Innovation / Experiment
Product
Personal Growth
Leadership
Stakeholders
Users
Jord Sips

Jord Sips

Senior Product Manager at Mews

Managing Remotely: Balancing Team Cohesion and Focus Time

26 May

Jonathan Belcher, Engineering Manager at Curative, explains how to balance team cohesion and individual focus time, tapping into his experiences of working remotely for seven years.

Remote
Micromanagement
Meetings
Internal Communication
Productivity
Psychological Safety
Performance
Jonathan Belcher

Jonathan Belcher

Engineering Manager - Patient Experience at Curative

Streamlining Product Processes After a Reorganization

16 May

Snehal Shaha, Lead Technical Program Manager at Momentive (fka SurveyMonkey), details her short-term technical strategy to unify processes among teams following an acquisition.

Acquisition / Integration
Product Team
Product
Building A Team
Leadership
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Reorganization
Strategy
Team Processes
Cross-Functional Collaboration
Snehal Shaha

Snehal Shaha

Senior EPM/TPM at Apple Inc.

Navigating Disagreements When It Comes to Priorities

9 May

Pavel Safarik, Head of Product at ROI Hunter, shares his insights on how to deal with disagreements about prioritization when building a product.

Innovation / Experiment
Product Team
Product
Dev Processes
Conflict Solving
Internal Communication
Collaboration
Convincing
Strategy
Prioritization
Pavel Safarik

Pavel Safarik

Head of Product at ROI Hunter

Leading Your Team in Stressful Situations

27 April

David Kormushoff, Director at Koho, recalls how he galvanized his team to tackle a time-sensitive problem, sharing his tips on how to shift chaos into calm.

Goal Setting
Leadership
Conflict Solving
Deadlines
Collaboration
Motivation
Strategy
Health / Stress / Burn-Out
David Kormushoff

David Kormushoff

Director at Koho

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.