Wotif grid

Wotif has dismissed industry rumours that it’s ditching its price grid accommodation search display in favour of a more conventional though potentially more flexible search, display and booking engine. “Why would we do that?” CEO Scott Blume asked.

“It’s part of our DNA and why customers love us.”

“Where else can you see (prices and availability) 14 days at a time?”

However not all suppliers are happy with the price grid, which limits Wotif’s tech versatility.

For example, the grid does not support minimum length of stay (MLOS), which Mr Blume acknowledged as an issue his tech team is trying to solve.

He said “we’re working with the guys to see how we can do both” the grid and MLOS.

Wotif has used the grid display since inception in the early 2000s.

Once in favour, Wotif now alone stands by the price grid, 14-day layout, and with some justification.

It’s been Australia’s #1 accommodation site for the past dozen years and there’s a tremendous sense of usability through familiarity when you’re on the site.

But the Brisbane company’s crown is now under serious threat from a slew of competitors using the standard date specific booking engine.

The results here look much better with the clear images and white background but there are far fewer results and they are only for a certain time-frame.

Here are the search display pages from two major rivals, Booking.com and Expedia.

Booking.com

Booking.com booking display Melb 18.11.13

Expedia.com.au

Expedia booking search display 18.11.13

The Booking.com’s and Expedia’s of this world product test incessantly.

It’s no coincidence all the major OTAs have opted for the displays above.

So Wotif’s decision to maintain the grid is bold but one that begs the question: can you always remain the same in this ever-changing world?

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