HomeAway gets social in distribution partnership with Gogobot

HomeAway struck a distribution partnership with social trip-planning site Gogobot.com.

Maybe there are some social investor synergies, too.

There are some shared Google ties between HomeAway and Gogobot. Google Ventures invested in HomeAway in October 2010, and Google’s Eric Schmidt is among Gogobot’s investors.

The HomeAway deal is believed to be Gogobot’s first major business partnership.

Gogobot enables users to sign in through their Facebook log-in and access trip-planning advice from their friends.

After selecting a destination and viewing attractions in New Orleans, for example, users can access a Hotels in New Orleans link near the bottom of the page. When they click on that link, they can choose between hotel and vacation rental tabs if they are looking for accommodations.

For New Orleans, HomeAway offers 35 vacation rental listings on Gogobot.com.  [On Homeaway.com there are about 51.)

Users can add listings to their trip plan on Gogobot and contact the owner if they want to book the vacation rental. The vacation rental listings are branded, “From our partner HomeAway.”

gogobot

Clicking on contact owner brings the user to a HomeAway page, replete with property descriptions, user reviews, Google Maps, photos and an availability calendar etc.

The agreement enables Gogobot to access 230,000 HomeAway vacation rental listings, the companies say.

The HomeAway-Gogobot alliance signals how social media is becoming an integral part of online trip-planning.

The issue for Gogobot and HomeAway is there is a disconnect between the planning and purchase process. Gogobot users have to click away from Gogobot to HomeAway if they are interested in reserving the property.

For HomeAway, the issue is exacerbated because it doesn’t offer online booking and users have to take the extra step of contacting the owner via an online form.

Still, the partnership brings HomeAway another potentially valuable distribution outlet, albeit with a startup.

Gogobot launched last summer with $4 million in funding from Battery Ventures.

Gogobot was founded by Travis Katz, a former MySpace executive, and Ori Zaltzman, who was an architect of Yahoo Boss.

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Dennis Schaal

About the Writer :: Dennis Schaal

Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.

 

Comments

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  1. Dennis Schaal

    Dennis Schaal

    Joe: You can’t book a hotel through Gogobot yet, but they are working on it….fyi.

     
    • Joe Lima

      Great to hear. I think hotel bookings will be a great addition to Gogobot.

       
  2. Joe Buhler

    These are the types of partnerships between start-ups offering complementary types of services that are needed to improve the customer experience. It seems these two companies still have some way to go in their partnership to offer a more seamless one but it’s a positive first step to close the gap between trip planning and actual booking.

     
  3. Peter

    I’ll have to remember that term “distribution partner”. Sounds better than “affiliate marketer” for some reason. 🙂

     
  4. Joe Lima

    Congrats to Gogobot for extending their service past the trip planning phase. I am surprised neither of these enterprises has created an extranet for it’s supplier partners to manage inventory. Gogobot is new, but Homeaway could have had this up and running a long time ago.

     
 
 

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