How a basic listings site became the essential road-trip planning tool for road travellers.
GoSeeAustralia (GSA) is a household name for touring nomads across Australia. Widely connected within the caravanning and camping community, the GSA marketplace lists caravan parks, campgrounds and other accommodation options for road travellers, providing a single online destination where travellers can plan, book and equip for their next outdoor adventure.
Marketplacer was presented with the opportunity to revitalise the GoSeeAustralia brand in July 2016 and jumped at the opportunity to take the already highly-regarded platform further within the road-tripping community.
The challenge for GSA was that while they had strong connections with a vast number of caravan parks in Australia, their website was cumbersome and lacked the functionality users desired. In order to become scalable, the site would need a digital rejuvenation.
Furthermore, the revenue model needed re-evaluating. The original platform operated on a commission-based model. Although sustainable, modern revenue streams needed to be put in place if the business was to grow and flourish.
Marketplacer’s vision was to take the aspects that drew users to GoSeeAustralia and transform the GoSeeAustralia website from a static directory into a dynamic marketplace.
By switching to a marketplace model, GSA has been able to onboard 500+ engaged caravan parks and campgrounds, which has significantly boosted their user base and in turn is drawing further parks and sites to the platform – as well as ancillary businesses aligned with GSA’s operations.
New APIs were built to plug the site directly into Newbook and RMS, the PMS and channel-management systems extensively used by parks to connect with online travel agencies and show live availability. These have simplified onboarding of listings and allowed for scaled growth.
The GSA website also added an important and useful function specific to this type of marketplace: customers can now request to book and ask specific questions about each listing. Introducing this saw almost 1300 ‘request to book’ tickets for accommodation across a six-week period, proving that the demand existed for this feature.
Additionally, in a sector that responds well to connection, stories to inspire and inform are also curated on the platform which builds on the sense of community for an already community-minded sector, and provides added value.
These marketplace initiatives bring together what was a highly fragmented buyer-seller landscape into one in which the mutually beneficial relationships operate smoothly and with a sense of belonging.
GSA also now operates with a tiered membership model. This allows for a forecastable flow of revenue into the business each month. Advertising space is also now sold on the platform to members and the curated content of the blog gives retailers the ability to target their audience and community.
In partnering with Marketplacer, GoSeeAustralia has united a highly fragmented market of 500+ caravan parks and campgrounds as well as the broad demographic of nomads. Platform integrations with booking systems have allowed for growth at considerable scale and greatly increased connectivity.
Furthermore, GSA has also been able to partner with Outdoria, its sister outdoor-gear marketplace, to create a world-first platform where adventurers can plan, book and equip themselves for their trip. This enables users to buy all the gear they need for their adventure and accordingly book their accommodation for the trip all in one place – under the Outdoria brand.
“The [growth] of the GSA marketplace platform could only have been achieved by using a ready-built marketplace platform.
If we had to budget for our own development team to support the site, our sales, content, customer service and marketing teams would not be as strong as they are now.
It would have slowed our rapid progress possibly by years.”
– Nick Baker, CEO