Home / Microsoft / Intelligent Search that can save you money: hotel booking, home services price ranges, and more
Intelligent Search that can save you money: hotel booking, home services price ranges, and more
— August 3, 2018
The Internet has put thousands of stores and service providers at our fingertips, allowing us to buy goods and services with the click of a button. This convenience comes with a set of challenges, especially when it comes to deciding which product to buy, which provider to hire, and how to get the most value for our money. Consumers cite anxiety and the fear of buyer’s remorse as their major pain points.Today Bing is happy to announce the launch of new intelligent features designed to allow you to estimate and compare prices across multiple providers, give you insights to make the right trade-offs around price, and get more savings on products through a new deals experience – all built to help you save money.
Typical users go through multiple sites before they make a choice on which hotel to book, and even then they often don’t feel confident they made the best choice. In May we released a hotel booking experience with aggregated pricing from third party booking sites. These features get even more powerful with what we’re announcing today: intelligent tips, a price trends view, and a comparison view.First, Bing displays booking tips when you’re looking at hotels for which there are competing options you may not have considered. For example, if there are higher-rated hotels near the one you’re looking at with the same rate, or hotels that are closer to the airport and cheaper, we will let you know of the alternatives and tradeoffs for the options you’re looking at.
Second, Bing provides historical price trends for the date range you’re exploring to help make price-based trade-offs. Many sites only let you see the rate after you’ve already selected a date, so users end up clicking through many times to check the rates throughout the date range they’re interested in. Our price trend feature allows users to browse price trends over time in a single view.
Third, our new comparison view provides a comprehensive overview of pricing by hotel option. No more digging through multiple sites and reviews to find out what amenities are offered and if there are hidden fees! You’ll simply be able to see the detailed breakdowns side-by-side so you can feel assured you’re making the best choice for your needs and budget.
Home services pricing and scheduling
Hotel-booking unfortunately isn’t the only painful purchase experience for many users. We also heard that users are often frustrated when it comes to choosing a home service provider, as quotes can vary substantially from one service to another, and many people aren’t confident in how much they should expect to pay.
That’s why we built cost ranges to provide transparency for home services like sink installation costs and toilet repairs. These ranges show a visual distribution of prices, specific to your zip code so they’re tied to your location. We want you to feel empowered to plan your budget and even negotiate a quote with a specific provider!
This price data comes via our partnership with Porch, so you can feel confident you’re getting a comprehensive view.
After you’ve gotten a view of what to expect for pricing, Bing helps you collect quotes from multiple providers with just a few clicks. For example, if you search for “plumbers Bellevue”, you’ll get a listing of plumbers in that area with a ‘Get Quote’ for supported providers. Click that button and you’re taken to a pre-populated form on Yelp, where you can select up to 10 similar providers and send out a bulk request for quotes instead of having to contact each provider individually.
Coupons and deals
Finally, we realized that trying to find deals can be a time-consuming. Between the fine print, expiration dates, and confusing language, it’s easy to be unsure if you’re really getting a good deal or not.Bing now aggregates deals across first- and third-party listings then displays them when you search for retailers or coupons. We surface relevant insights like ‘expiring soon’, whether the offers are online or in-store only, and more.
We hope you’re as excited by these money-saving features as we are — you can try them for yourself with our feature tour! All of them are available in the US, and apart from the home services price ranges these features are currently on desktop only. We will continue rolling out these features to mobile platforms and international markets in coming months.
While you’re trying out these new experiences, please also remember to sign in to Microsoft Rewards – you’ll earn points for your Bing searches and can redeem them towards gift cards and save even more!
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