Careers at Trivago
Trivago’s mission is to be the traveler's first and independent source of information for finding the ideal hotel at the lowest rates.
Rolf Schrömgens was the Co-Founder of Ciao, a shopping website. At a certain point, he began to realize how expensive it was to manage brands‘ content online, and felt that it would be more cost-efficient to let the brands manage content themselves, with a monetary incentive. So he partnered with old college friends Peter Vinnemeier, Malte Siewert, and Stephan Stubner to develop Trivago.
Trivago would enable hotel and lodging brands to link to its website, through which customers could book reservations. Vinnemeier and Schrömgens coded the site, while hiring employees from all over the world. Trivago landed an initial investment of $1 million and officially launched in 2005, going on to achieve much success. It was acquired by Expedia in 2015, though it still operates independently.
Benefits at Trivago
Business model of Trivago
Trivago has a multi-sided business model, with two interdependent customer segments that are both needed in order to operate: hotel/lodging brands that promote their offerings online and consumers who compare the offerings and their prices to make a purchase decision.
Trivago offers four primary value propositions: accessibility, customization, convenience, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by enabling customers to contribute to its website’s content. Specifically, they are invited to add text to descriptions of hotel and lodging brands, add missing brands/complete incomplete brand profiles, and edit the profiles for quality assurance.
The site enables customization by allowing brands extensive ability to personalize their profiles.
The site offers convenience by enabling visitors to search for and compare brand prices. They can also refine search results through over 100 filters, including price, distance, and facilities.
The site has established a powerful brand due to its success. It bills itself as the “world’s largest hotel search” engine, with information from over 250 booking sites for more than 100 hotel chains representing over one million hotels worldwide (190+ countries). It provides service in 33 languages and covers 55 markets. It is used by over 120 million unique visitors monthly, and its customers have provided over 140 million hotel reviews with over 15 million photos. In 2015 alone, it generated 14.6 million bookings for everything from budget to luxury hotels. Lastly, Trivago is one of the most successful and fastest-growing startups in Germany, with its profits doubling since 2008.
Trivago’s main channel for consumers is its website, while it reaches out to brands through its direct sales team. The company promotes its offering through its social media pages as well as television and online marketing (display advertising and search engine marketing).
Trivago’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website provides answers to frequently asked questions. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of e-mail support.
Trivago’s business model entails maintaining a robust common platform between two parties: consumers and hotel/lodging brands. The platform includes its website and mobile app.
Trivago maintains the following types of partnerships:
- Affiliate Partners – The company works with third parties that promote its offerings through their platforms (websites, mobile apps, etc.) in order to direct traffic to its website. Commissions are paid per click-out (instances in which customers visit Trivago then connect to a hotel booking site).
- Quality Test Partners – The company invites consumers to evaluate hotel brand quality by signing up as a tester through its website. After booking a reservation and completing a stay, the testers provide a review of the facility’s services and amenities using an online questionnaire. Completed questionnaires result in an incentive payment paid via PayPal or bank transfer.
Trivago’s main resource is its proprietary software platform, which serves over 120 million monthly visitors.
It depends on its technology employees to maintain and update the platform and its customer service staff to provide support.
Lastly, as a startup it has relied on funding from investors, raising $53.8 million as of December 2010.
Trivago has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions.
Its biggest cost driver is likely sales/marketing, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of transaction expenses and customer support/operations, both fixed costs.
Trivago has two revenue streams:
- Listing Revenues – Revenues it generates from fees paid by booking sites for having their services listed on the company’s platform.
- Service Revenues – Revenues it generates from fees paid by hotel brands to manage their presence and visibility on the company’s platform, using the Hotel Manager PRO service.
info: Peter earned an MBA at the University of Illinois and also studied at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. He previously served as Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Ciao.com. He is also a Co-Founder of Monkfish Equity.
info: Rolf studied at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. He previously served as Co-Founder and Head of Product Development at Ciao.com. He is also a Co-Founder of Monkfish Equity and President of Entrepreneurs‘ Organization.
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