New Structured Data Capabilities and Faster Response Times on Viator’s Merchant API
We’ve taken a fresh look at what features our merchant partners need to connect easily with our data and scale our product inventory across their sites in a meaningful way to their customers. To enable a simpler development to our API and to improve product filtering, we are introducing a number of machine-readable fields across products, availability schedules, and booking data. This re-structured data offers our merchant partners a higher level of customization.
"A month after completing the V2 integration, we've already seen a 78% month-over-month increase in bookings"
Ethan Hawkes, CEO of PlacePass
“We have started testing the new Viator API (2.0) and it's incredibly good, congratulations!”
"Distinguishing Viator’s excellent products from the rest of the pack will allow us to understand what products are attractive, reliable and worthy of boosting."
Grow your business: start your implementation today
The updates that we’ve made to the Merchant API Solution put partners on a path to higher conversion and improved merchandising.
To take advantage of new structured data capabilities, faster response times, and real time availability, you’ll have to complete work on the basic suite of API endpoints below. These endpoints work in tandem with each other to provide the ideal booking and merchandising experience for your customers.
Contact your Partner Success Manager at ViatorPartnerSuccess@tripadvisor.com about your upgrade path and timeline.
Note: existing partners can continue to use existing endpoints, but in order to use new structured data, partners will have to use the updated product, availability and pricing, and booking endpoints.
Designed for a bulk approach to content ingestion, this update makes it possible to only update products that have been modified after a previous API request allowing you to efficiently update product content with fewer and more frequent requests.
New structured data fields make it easier to break out key information – like COVID-19 safety features, tour itineraries, “likely to sell out” filters or Excellent Product tagging – and merchandise them on site for a better booking experience for travelers.
Availability and pricing endpoints
Overall, we’ve reduced the amount of availability data necessary to ingest. Ingestion of that availability and pricing data, including specials pricing and specials timeframes, happens through one consolidated request on single products or through bulk ingestion. We price products in suppliers currency, which speeds ingestion and reduces updates from exchange rate fluctuation.
Booking workflows enable optional booking hold functionality (where partners can hold inventory and price for the customer) and include traveler pickup and special requirements. We also removed duplicate booking questions to reduce friction in the booking process and now return full pricing breakdowns, including per agebrand subtotals, booking or transaction fees, and total including fees.
PlacePass case study
“The impact has been noticeable and immediate for customers and our business results. A month after completing the V2 integration, we’ve already seen a 78% month-over-month increase in bookings with noticeable up-ticks in all key metrics including conversion rate, average revenue-per-booking, and reduced cancellation rates. Thanks to Viator’s significant investments during the Covid crisis, we feel well-positioned for an accelerated recovery ahead.”
– Ethan Hawkes, CEO PlacePass
Viator case study
On Viator.com we have seen positive results after implementing the COVID-19 safety measures. Travelers visiting individual product detail pages were up +1.23%. A major contributor of this increase was the ability for travelers to use search filters to surface products that have safety measures in place. Travelers are given more reassurance about the safety protocols on individual product pages, which are listed out in a nicely structured checklist.
Travelers checking the availability and pricing on individual products was also up by +1.45%, indicating that the reassuring safety measures suppliers are positively influencing
We also saw a 1.5% – 3.5% lift in revenue after implementing structured itineraries that included all the tour’s stops highlighted on a map.
Highly customizable merchandising and filtering
Newly added machine-readable data across product content, availability schedules, and booking data enable partners to better customize their integrations to best fit business needs and traveler expectations.
New features like our COVID-19 safety features and Excellent Product tagging will help inspire traveler confidence when booking. Newly structured itineraries provide detailed information about what the traveler can expect and can be displayed in a comprehensive way.
Seamless booking flows
Through improvements to product content ingestion and pricing/availability, travelers have all the information they need to make the decision to book. Structured fields for booking questions (e.g. traveler height) and traveler pickup (which now includes non-hotel pickup locations) provide an improved post-booking experience for the traveler.
We’ve also added optional booking hold functionality that guarantees the traveler’s spot and pricing they saw prior to checkout until the hold expires.
Availability and pricing in real time
We’ve consolidated pricing requests into one request and specify availability by preset schedules and unavailable dates (rather than available dates), and as a result we’ve sped up the ingestion of availability and pricing by 95% and there is a 5% increase in processing real time availability transactions.
These improvements help speed ingestion and enable a real time availability and price calculation. Pricing calculations and availability are checked on individual products before checkout, ensuring accuracy at time of checkout. This will help reduce friction for the traveler and will help the partner reduce shopping cart abandonment.
“The V2 availability schedule endpoints have been a big win for our existing ingestion process. We are also excited to leverage the richer information from the structured data to give our users a better search and booking experience down the line.”
– Markus Kobler, Head of Engineering at PlacePass
Efficiently update product content with fewer but more frequent requests
We designed these recent improvements to our Merchant API with efficient bulk product content ingestion in mind. We’ve reduced the single product ingestion time by 77% and partners can now routinely re-ingest only the products that have been modified since a previous API request. This ensures that travelers see the most updated content without slowing down your website or running into the rate limit through too many API requests.
“The switch to the V2 impact made a positive impact on our product ingestion process; the ability to pull content for only products that have been updated since our last refresh has allowed us to update more frequently, leading to happier customers and less strain on our systems.”
– Caroline Goodwin, Senior Product Manager PlacePass