3 Ways Expedia Can Make Your Travel Easier in 2014

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

For most, vacations are a rarity in life. Therefore, you need to make the most of every opportunity. Nothing is worse than a bad vacation. At least when you have a bad day at work, you can go home and sulk and/or vent in the comfort of your own home. When you're on vacation, the bad water that made you sick isn't going to suddenly change for the better, those bugs flying around the room and landing on your eyelids aren't going to halt their flight patterns while you sleep, and the rude person at the front counter isn't going to have a change of heart regarding how he feels about out-of-towners. 

This isn't meant to scare you away from going on vacation. Everyone has a bad experience once in a while. But most vacations are successes. However, you need to maximize your odds of success. And that's where Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE  ) comes in. 

Three innovations to improve travel bookings
The innovations you're about to read about have the potential to improve travel-booking experiences for millions of people. If this comes to fruition, then it will lead to market-share gains and increased revenue for Expedia. Of course, this isn't a guarantee. It's way too early to tell if these innovations will be successful since they were just launched. But they are being written about because of their strong potential.    

How many times have you searched for the right flight before finally booking something? If you're like the average traveler, it's 48 times. Wouldn't it be nice if all your previous searches would be automatically saved and retrievable at any time? This would save a lot of time. And wouldn't it be nice if you received emails about price changes for your saved searches, giving you an opportunity to take advantage of the best value? This is now possible with Expedia's Scratchpad. 

If you're the type of person who books a flight the first time you sit down, wanting to get it out of the way so you can move on to other things, then you might appreciate Expedia's Flight Recommendations, which analyzes more than 3 billion flight searches performed by other people and applies the results to your search in regards to alternative airports, dates, and times. The goal is to find you the best value. 

Itinerary Sharing is the third innovation. It pertains to having the option of sharing your travel itinerary with co-workers, friends, and/or family. Whoever you share the information with will have the ability to track departure times, arrivals, as well as delays. 

Combined with Expedia's Best Price Guarantee, these innovative measures have the potential to lead to market-share gains. But if we're to go on actual results as opposed to potential, does Expedia appear to be the best investment option? 

Expedia vs. peers
Expedia has grown its top line at a faster pace than Orbitz Worlwide (NYSE: OWW  ) over the past year but not as quickly as (NASDAQ: PCLN  ) :

PCLN Revenue (TTM) Chart

Priceline revenue (trailing-12 months) data by YCharts

Priceline has outperformed its peers on the top line for several reasons. A bidding system where customers could name their own price was the original catalyst. Having William Shatner as the company's face didn't hurt, either. However, later growth stemmed from acquisitions, especially, which turned Priceline from a domestic travel company to an international one. 

Orbitz Worldwide has been trying to transition from a flight-booking travel site to a flight-and-hotel-booking travel site. Most consumers use the site for flight bookings, but Orbitz believes that its recent reward program, called Orbucks, could be a catalyst for increased consumer engagement, primarily because rewards are instantaneous. 

The bottom line
Expedia's recent innovations related to big data could act as positive catalysts for stealing market share from Priceline and, to a lesser extent, Orbitz Worldwide. If you would prefer to go with the company that is currently the fastest growing in the industry, then you might want to consider Priceline. If you choose to invest in any of the companies mentioned here, please keep in mind that they're all highly dependent on consumer discretionary spending levels, which makes them sensitive to any economic downturns. 

Learn how to profit on these companies
Want to figure out how to profit on business analysis like this? The key is to learn how to turn business insights into portfolio gold by taking your first steps as an investor. Those who wait on the sidelines are missing out on huge gains and putting their financial futures in jeopardy. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal-finance experts show you what you need to get started, and even gives you access to some stocks to buy first. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2791674, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/4/2015 7:29:33 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Dan Moskowitz

Dan Moskowitz spends the majority of his time researching stocks. He believes that fundamentals, and logic pertaining to industry trends, win out over the long haul.

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,102.38 -272.38 -1.66%
S&P 500 1,921.22 -29.91 -1.53%
NASD 4,683.92 -49.58 -1.05%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/4/2015 3:59 PM
EXPE $111.23 Down -1.66 -1.47%
Expedia, Inc. CAPS Rating: ***
OWW $11.19 Down -0.11 -0.97%
Orbitz Worldwide,… CAPS Rating: *
PCLN $1245.25 Up +4.88 +0.39%
Priceline Group CAPS Rating: ****