Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne outlined plans for his comany's expansion into the online travel market. His key points, made in the company's earnings conference call:
- Overstock.com launched its travel business a year ago.
- According to Byrne, the site wasn't very good and the customer service provided by the vendors was lacking.
- Since then Overstock has been contacted by multiple vendors looking for efficient liquidation of travel inventory and unhappy with current options.
- New site went active on January 1st offering only cruises.
- Expect other categories (eg. flights) to be filled in during next 4 to 12 weeks.
How will Overstock.com differentiate itself in online travel? Byre says:
- Lowest booking fee in the online travel industry.
- Unique, low-price offering.
- Superior user interface.
Overstock's marginal costs should be below those of the other big travel sites due to Overstock's site traffic and pre-existing e-commerce infrastructure.
Stock impact: Which firms are most at risk from a new cut-price travel competitor? Those that play at the discount end of the market - probably Priceline.com and the discount travel sites owned by IAC.