Rocket Travel by Agoda has been using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in many different facets of our organization to contribute to the success of our white-label solutions and other partnerships. In one recent A/B test utilizing AI to translate room titles, we saw customer support issues decrease by 23%, conversions increase by .15%, booking increase by 1.44% and revenue increase by 1.8% for all partners.
The use of AI in the travel industry is proving to be highly innovative and beneficial through automating development, content generation and conversational interfaces. Omri Morgenshtern, Chief Executive Officer at Agoda, recently discussed how AI can increase our development velocity allowing for more experimentation, more features and a better understanding of the travel consumer. At Rocket Travel by Agoda, the use of AI technology through experimentation is shining a light on how our developers can better improve our white-lable solutions for our travel loyalty brands.
Our data team began experimenting with AI technology as a way to help streamline our processes. The team used an existing AI model developed by academic researchers at the University of Helsinki which specializes in translations between languages in general. We leveraged the machine learning capabilities of AI to train it to be hyper-focused on room titles and to understand specific terminologies within the hotel industry, such as "king" as a type of bed rather than an inherited position. Once AI learned our strategies and terminology, it proved to be a more flexible, affordable and quicker option compared to other services used in the past.
Recently, our data science team put AI to the test by launching an A/B test on all platforms where they used AI to translate hotel room titles from English to Spanish. During the test, customers were randomly served one of the following experiences on our travel booking platforms:
1.) Our traditional platform without the use of AI translation
2.) Our new platform using AI translation for room titles
The team at Rocket Travel by Agoda measured many factors including conversion, revenue, and customer support issues. We found there to be a large decrease in the need for customer support with the use of AI technology to translate room titles.
For the version where travel customers were served the AI version of our travel booking platforms, customers were able to read their room titles, they knew what they were selecting without any unwanted surprises and they had a better booking experience overall.
Not only did this test using AI technology improve the overall user experience, it also outperformed human translations in certain cases. Upon conclusion of the A/B experimentation, customer support issues decreased 23%, conversions increased by .15%, booking increased by 1.44% and total revenue increased by 1.8%.
While using AI proved to be successful, there were challenges our team had to solve. The biggest challenge was keeping the experience for the travel customer running smoothly. Our goal is to make the travel booking experience as seamless and rewarding as possible. While using AI is extremely fast, customers still needed to wait a second or even half a second to see the translated room titles.
Our team handled this by building a dictionary of answers, allowing AI to look up the answer in the dictionary to serve to the customer, which was an extremely fast operation. If the answer wasn’t included in the dictionary, the platform returned the answer in English. The team then recorded the missing translation and incorporated it into our ever-evolving dictionary of room titles to avoid streamline future operations.
Rocket Travel by Agoda partners with travel loyalty brands around the world. We serve travel customers who speak many different languages, so having quality, consistent translations available is essential for anyone who uses our white-label solutions. Currently we are using AI technology to translate room titles in Spanish and Portuguese, but we are working to expand these offerings to include German, Chinese, and other languages.
In terms of our hotel supply inventory, we are able to serve customers with high-quality room descriptions using AI translations. This gives hoteliers the confidence knowing that customers who book their property are getting exactly what they want.
The A/B experimentation our data science team conducted and the new processes we have in place will allow Rocket Travel by Agoda to continue providing customers a more consistent and accurate booking experience.
If you want to learn more about how we are using experimentation to better the user experience and increase revenue for our partners, check out other articles from our blog like Enhanced UI to Drive Growth or Boosting Conversion Through Testing and Experimentation.
If you are interested in partnering with us on white-label solutions for your travel loyalty brand, contact us today.