Never thought it was possible to stay 3 nights in a 5-star hotel at the price of a cup of coffee? The solution is Bidtotrip, the online platform that auctions off overnights in the best luxury hotels in the world.
Our vision is to make luxury accessible for everybody. Bidtotrip is like the Ebay of luxury travel, but with an important difference: the auctions start from £1 and travellers can potentially book a luxury hotel for up to the 90% less than the market value.
Every offer consists of 1-3 nights in a luxury hotel with the addition of an experience. Auction winners receive a complimentary bottle of champagne, or one day in the hotel spa. Winners have 6 months to redeem the experience. No panic, for all the people that don't win the auction, they have access to a special offer up to a 70% discount.
From the clients’ point of view, the implementation of Bidtotrip will spread a new culture of buying exclusive holidays: bidding on auctions to win luxury holidays is a innovation in the travel sector which gives people the opportunity to save money and maximize quality/price thanks to incredible deals.
We believe people will start using Bidtotrip as a means to improve the quality of their holidays and consequently their lifestyle, but also to catch special deals and to discover locations normally inaccessible due to their high market value.
We aim to offer a final outcome for users that will always be the same: a dream holiday which saves money.
From the hoteliers’ point of view, Bidtotrip has the potential to increase their revenue. In fact, 1 million rooms remain empty every night in European hotels: Bidtotrip is the way to sell rooms. Moreover, it will be a means of branding: thanks to a top selection, Bidtotrip aims to become a guarantee of quality and offer hotels that are perceived by customers as the best available.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Bidtotrip has received £65,000 worth of funding from family and friends. This amount was spent to develop the platform and to start the first actions of customer acquisition and identification of the target market.
Bidtotrip has been online since 10th September 2014: it has 17,000 registered members, 20% of which are active, generating a total turnover so far of over £20,000*.
Moreover, the team participated in the ITB in Berlin and the TTG in the 2014-15 edition. The result was the creation of partnerships with hotels such as the Melia Group, C-hotels, Terme di Saturnia, Pestana Chelsea of London, and Design Hotels’ structures. We have achieved more than 300 partnerships with top hoteliers.
*Source: unaudited management accounts.
Bidtotrip’s business model is based on a mix of Auctions, Flash-sales and Buy-now. There are three kinds of auctions:
– Marketing Star –
This auction starts from £1 and a fee is not required for joining the auction. Usually, the closing price reaches more than 50% of the market value.
– Habits Generator –
The auction starts from a reserve price and a fee is not required for joining the auction.
– Gaming Lovers –
The auction starts from £1 and a fee is required to join the auction (about £3). At the end of the auction, every participant receives a super-targeted offer discounted by about 50%. Many participants have shown high interest for that offer and we always give him/her the possibility to buy it at a discounted price.
Moreover, users always have the possibility to immediately buy the offer by clicking the “buy-now” button. So, our money-making formula is based on:
1) Auction side:
- joining fees for participation in the auctions
- closing auction price
2) Fee side:
- fee on every Flash-sale sold
- fee on every Buy-now sold
Use of proceeds
Bidtotrip plans to invest the proceeds raised through Seedrs:
- 30% improving the website with a better UX and UI
- 40% marketing: DEM, social media marketing, viral videos, guerrilla marketing actions, co-marketing actions thanks to new strategic partnerships on social networks
- 30% supporting team and overheads
Bidtotrip’s reference target is women between 25-45 years old with an annual income higher than £36,000, and with a high school education. These people are well disposed to purchasing online and are often in search of a deal. They frequently use websites such as flahsales, or like cashback. This target equates to 30,000 people in the UK.
Characteristics of target market
The travel industry in Europe counts a total addressable market with a turnover of more than £200 billion. STR Global estimates that there are 187,000 hotels (with more than 20 rooms) offering 17.5 million guest rooms around the globe. In Europe alone, 1 billion trips are sold every year and 6 million have a duration of 1 to 3 nights. Concurrently, more than 1 million rooms remain unsold every day in hotels across Europe. Bidtotrip aims to fill this large amount of empty rooms. With regards to travel e-commerce trends, almost half of total travel sales in Europe are generated online, covering 26% of total e-commerce revenue, and positioning as the main online industry.
Moreover, the innovation of auctions in the luxury travel industry and the offer of auctions with a starting price of £1 make us able to count on a generation of a big WOW effect. We think the best way to reach the market is the combination of DEM, social media marketing, AdWords marketing and guerrilla marketing. So the best way to reach the market is to invest in social networks and to build solid strategic partnerships in order to increase engagement and interest around this new travel solution. The creation of viral content is another option to pursue, increasing spreading also by the activation of strong guerrilla actions.
Our differentiation strategy is focused on the creation of an interesting offer in terms of products quality, price and purchase modalities: combining a top selection of hotels and a mix of buying possibilities (auction, flash-sale, buy now). Bidtotrip is able to propose an innovative offer with a high quality/price. In fact, winning a luxury holiday by participating in auctions whose starting price is just £1 means that the final auction prices can be reduced by up to 90%. This model definitely brings a disruptive element to the auction system in general as well as the online travel sector: nobody we know of in the travel market presents such an intriguing mix between quality and price.