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The Art & Science of Getting Better Visibility on Liftopia

No sense beating around the bush here, Liftopia’s Evan Reece (who I nerdily termed a lift ticket “Jedi”) can explain this system much better than I so I’ll turn the floor over to him straightaway.

AND NOW, EVAN REECE
Liftopia’s goal is to show to customers the best values for the dates that they search. As we fine tune our search results we deliver more relevant results for customers, and our resorts partners more efficiently sell to Liftopia customers. By improving this algorithm over time, Liftopia can be successful for resorts of all sizes and allowing them to operate on a level playing field relative to others. Where a resort lands in our search order is determined by a number of weighted factors:

1. Price – All else held equal, price is a key factor in determining the value of a product and therefore has an impact on sort order. This is only one piece of the equation, however, so a resort with an on-mountain price of $95 does not necessarily need to price in the same spot as a resort with a $45 on mountain price. Both on-mountain and Liftopia price are taken into account for this piece of the algorithm.

2. Savings % – Another key component is the savings percentage offered for any given product, which again is a key component of value of a product relative to others.

3. Number of Products Available – This may be surprising to folks, but the more products a resort has available for sale at any given time has a tremendous impact on the likelihood of that individual resort making a sale. Therefore, having more products available at any given time positively impacts resorts’ sort order.

4. Margin % – Much like Google Adwords bid amount impacts placement in search results, Liftopia’s margin impacts placement on the Liftopia site.

5. Quality Ranking/Demand Capture – “Quality Ranking” is not an objective ranking of products, but a ranking of how successful any given product is at capturing sales on Liftopia. This means resorts that are more successful at completing sales on Liftopia improve their placement, as consumers are “telling” us that the deals are compelling by buying at various rates. This is why we focus heavily on helping resorts understand their Demand Capture on Liftopia, as it yields a real result in their placement on an ongoing basis.

Published January 7th, 2011 by Gregg Blanchard.