Today I had to book a hostel for a few nights in Ecuador, so as always I fired up Hostel World, the “World’s #1 Hostel Booking Website” to check out what was on offer.
While doing this a friend mentioned that I should also check out Hostel Bookers and when I did I noticed a marketing attack on the home page directed straight at Hostel World customers like me.
When you click-through on the link, it takes you to this page that further explains the study that proves that “HostelBookers are, on average, 8.7% cheaper than HostelWorld”.
For the budget conscious backpacker (of which most are) this is a pretty convincing argument, and for Hostel Bookers it makes sense to try to take market share from Hostel World with a price play.
So what is Hostel World doing about this attack?
Well not exactly, they are not responding to the price attack or mentioning Hostel Bookers at all.
Instead they are doing exactly what I would do in this situation.
Reminding their customers why they are #1
So who is winning the war?
Without knowing the market share stats it is hard to really tell, but in my opinion while Hostel Bookers will steal a few “price sensitive” customers from Hostel World with this approach, in the end Hostel World has the scale advantage and that is critical in a category that relies heavily on customer reviews and ratings of hostels.
Really smart customers will do their research on Hostel World to take advantage of more customer reviews and ratings, then book through Hostel Bookers to take advantage of cheaper prices.
But to be honest, in my experience travelling and working in hostels that group will be a small minority.
But what do you think?
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