SAS Middle East, the leading provider of business analytics software and services in the Middle East region, has revealed that its strategic global partnership with Expedia, the world’s leading online travel agency, has helped drive in new ways to increase customer satisfaction and reinforce customer loyalty across the globe including the Middle East regions thriving travel and tourism market. With the use of SAS Analytics, Expedia was able to transform huge volumes of data into useful insights for decision making, thereby effectively optimizing online customer experiences and increasing customer lifetime value to fuel the company's growth.
Over the last year, the partnership has given Expedia the advantage of utilizing SAS Analytics as a strategic tool to relate key processes that range from customer lifeline value to acquisition-cost decisions. The SAS Analytics team used a special clustering technique to help learn more about customer behavior and preferences. Based on their findings, the analytics team was able to build predictive models that revealed the factors that most influence transactions. Customer lifetime value insights help Expedia determine what offers and promotions encourage repeat business. Since using SAS Analytics, the benefit to Expedia customers and Expedia's bottom line has been significant.
“In the direct response business, we track and measure everything so we need powerful analytical products that can handle big data,” said Joe Megibow, VP and General Manager, Expedia US. “We use SAS for our analytical heavy lifting. With nearly 200 terabytes of customer and clickstream data in our data warehouse, we count on SAS predictive analytics and data mining to analyze extremely large data volumes. Analytical insights about customer needs and preferences help us deliver the value and convenience that earns their loyalty.”
Megibow led Expedia's effort to consolidate the company's disparate data feeds into one and apply analytics to optimize marketing. Megibow presented his approach to hundreds of Web Analytics Association members who awarded him the Practitioner of the Year Award for Excellence. Diligence in data-driven decision making played a large role in Megibow's promotion to his current role as Vice President and General Manager for Expedia US.
To establish its culture of analytics, Expedia hires creative thinkers who not only understand data and analytics, but also its business and customer needs. The depth and breadth of SAS Analytics inspires innovative problem solving.
“Expedia has capitalized on SAS' experience solving different problems in multiple industries. The domain expertise of SAS is an incredible asset that helps us creatively apply technologies to seize opportunities and solve problems,” said Megibow.
“With SAS predictive analytics, Expedia discovers important new ways to increase customer satisfaction. Expedia clearly understands how each marketing channel influences conversions on the site, allowing it to optimize marketing investments by channel. The value of analytics became crystal clear as annual gross bookings and revenue increased. Expedia's smart use of analytics helps them continually innovate and distinguishes the company as a winner in the online travel industry,” concluded Tapan Patel, Global Product Marketing Manager, SAS.