Online Booking Engines Need To Be Mobile Ready

Online Booking Engines Need To Be Mobile Ready

It’s no secret that today’s consumer uses their smart phone for just about everything and it’s estimated that within the next two years there will be over 8 billion handheld, mobile ready devices in use globally. The availability of mobile applications has undoubtedly helped transform the frequency and manner these devices are used. The variety of different mobile ready technology, app stores and high speed internet connections available today have only helped increase consumer use of mobile devices. Whether making their own travel arrangements or purchasing groceries, it seems like consumers can and do buy just about anything online today.

The move to mobile by consumers is forcing many companies to consider a mobile strategy for their business while maintaining their traditional brick & mortar operation and online business via their website. However, there are different ways to approach developing a mobile web presence to consider. Some choose to use responsive technology when designing their mobile booking engine, while others may decide to use a dedicated Mobile App for their business.

There are several factors to consider when evaluating whether to use mobile ready responsive technology verses a dedicated mobile App. Websites are often designed to be used on large screens that are found on laptop computers and many do not consider how the application will appear to a consumer using a mobile device. Traditional website applications can be difficult to read or navigate through and requiring a consumer to zoom in or resize their screen to use the application. One solution for companies looking for a mobile booking engine is a mobile ready website connected to an online booking engine that is built using innovative responsive technology that automatically adjusts the screen size and layout to fit the type of device being used.

Dedicated mobile Apps are also becoming more popular, allowing an application to be accessed by any device with a web browser. The benefits of a dedicated mobile App can be more than just combining the power and versatility of an online booking engine with the ease and accessibility of a handheld device.

Some of the advantages of using Responsive technology when designing your website include a single application built to run across all devices, regardless of screen size. This can reduce maintenance costs by avoiding the need to maintain several versions of an application while providing a better user experience for your customers. For instance, destination maps may be a critical tool when using a hotel booking engine to research and book a hotel room. These destination map applications are usually image heavy and may require zooming in or resizing the screen. This is another good example of why you should consider a hotel booking engine that built using innovative responsive technology.

To create the best user experience possible, you need to consider that today’s consumer may start researching their travel arrangements using a handheld device but complete their purchase online using a tablet or laptop. Differences in these two approaches provide each with inherent advantages as well as disadvantages. The key to success is finding a technology partner with the solutions that best fit your business.

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Innovation is Key to Booking Airlines Effieciently

Innovation is Key to Booking Airlines Effieciently

From the beginning, airlines have been driving efficiency through innovation with systems designed to automate processes and reduce the time required to complete an airline reservation. These systems have been providing travel industry professionals the ability to book air travel directly for decades. Early on they began to offer the ability to search schedule availability and price for flights by a variety of search criteria such a specific airline, flexible travel dates, nearby airports, nonstops only, etc. As the volume of an airline’s business grew and they began to offer more service options in advance, the airline reservation system quickly began to include these features as well. Advance seat Selection, special service requests, ordering onboard meals in advance all became additional options in an online booking engine as well. Credit Card validation, AVS checks, Airline blocking, ticket type checks as well as consolidator and negotiated fares soon followed.

Many travel companies have found that the airline booking engine they can license from an experienced travel technology company to be more powerful and cost effective than developing, hosting and maintaining it themselves. For those looking to control their own user interface, some technology companies provide the capability for Clients to host all User interfaces on their own server while using a web services interface to their booking engine hosted by their technology partner.

There are many types of hosted solutions available including everything from the basic “out of the box” airline reservation system to more customizable applications that include unique sub-domains for your specific version of the application to minimize the appearance customers are being redirected from your website. The best of these allow for booking engine’s headers, footers and style sheets to be customized to maintain your brand identity and provide a seamless online experience for your customers. Some travel companies may require a fully custom application where they design the complete layout to meet their own specific requirements. Mobile apps are now available that can extend an airline booking engine to a dedicated app. Many clients are also choosing mobile ready applications built using responsive technology that automatically provides support of various mobile and tablet screen sizes so customers can easily view and navigate through the booking process regardless of the device they are using.

As is the case with many things, the more that you need customized, the higher your costs are likely to be. So remember to evaluate the benefit that customization brings compared to the associated additional costs.

Live access to content is critical for any airline reservation system. Some air booking engines even have the ability to simultaneously search multiple content sources for the best price, allowing an agency to combine their own content with content from a partner agency. Management Tools include the ability to mark up or mark down a product’s selling price by airline, itinerary, class of service, dates and more. Some even allow for promotional codes to be set up that can be redeemed during the booking process.

Finding an airline booking engine that can help your online business drive efficiencies through innovation is important. Finding the right technology partner to help make this happen is the key to success.

Drive Hotel Booking Through Innovation

Drive Hotel Booking Through Innovation

Travel Technology providers were one of the pioneers in online commerce and a critical factor to the success of today’s online travel business worldwide. The most innovative and comprehensive online travel solutions available in the market today evolved through years of collaboration with travel agents and travel suppliers. Engaging all of the parties involved in the selling process during an application’s design phase and using innovative, state of the art technology are key when developing the best online booking solutions.

For example, a hotel reservation system should be designed to automate processes and reduce time and effort required to research and complete a hotel booking. It should provide live, up to date pricing and availability using live connections where ever possible. And with so many hotel options available, both travel agents and consumers appreciate solutions that include links to media files & rich content to them assist with selecting the right hotel property during the shopping process. The ability to search for a hotel by geographic area and points of interest will help narrow the search and ensure they are where they need to be. Having easy access to hotel amenities included such as complimentary breakfast or WiFi access can be key factors when choosing a hotel property. Room size and bedding options available may be an important consideration when making arrangements for more than one traveler.

And in today’s mobile world, a hotel booking engine needs to be mobile ready. Look for applications that use innovative responsive technology that automatically adjusts the screen display layout based on the type of device being used. Expand your sales network with features that allow you to quickly add affiliate Users or websites and the ability to easily customize the look and feel for each including headers, footers, style sheets, email addresses & company name. Access to local content as well as multi language and multi currency capability are additional factors to consider if you plan to expand your business into ethnic or international markets.

The hotel reservation system you use needs to allow you to manage your online hotel bookings with full payment capability and support of cancelation policies. It should have the content your customers are looking for at a competitive price. Look a booking engine with easy to use administrative features such as Profile Management and Preferences Management that provide you the ability to turn on/off these features yourself as oppose to paying someone to do it for you.

Reporting capabilities to track your business are also critical features to look for when shopping for a hotel booking engine. Booking statistics are important tools when measuring your business compared to previous periods, but quick and easy access to information like search statistics and “Look to Book” ratios can help you identify trends and potential issues before it’s too late to make adjustments or change course.

The hotel reservation system you choose should be fast, responsive and provide the relevant content your customers are looking for while driving efficiencies through innovation. It’s just a matter of finding the right technology partner to make this happen.

Driving Efficiencies Through Innovation

Driving Efficiencies Through Innovation

The innovative technology that is available today has made us all more efficient in so many ways. Smart phones allow us to have telephone conversations from just about anywhere and we are all just a few clicks away from checking our email or social media. Not sure how to get somewhere? Check your smart phone for directions. And today you can purchase just about anything right from your phone as retailers become increasingly focused on mobile ready technology.

There’s a wide range travel technology available today depending upon your specific needs. Everything from easy to use “out of the box” solutions for those just getting started to unique custom business solutions designed to specifically meet the needs of your business are available. There are even “out of the box:” solutions that can be easily customized to support your own unique brand identity. These solutions can be valuable features for online travel agencies looking to build and protect their brand.

In today’s mobile world, travel technology solutions need to have a User experience designed to maximize sales while making the research and booking of travel arrangements easy. Efficiencies in the way that a travel agent interacts with their customers can help save the time it takes them to create a travel related booking and increase an agent’s overall sales volume. For example, having the right special offers in place and being able to quickly identify them right in the availability display can be just as important as the ability to easily adjust a product selling price in today’s competitive online environment. Many of today’s online booking engines include powerful business rules features that allow business owners the flexibility to easily pre-define price adjustments and “value add” offers using wide variety of filters including type of service, supplier, travel dates and booking channel to name just a few.

Travel technology should provide your business access to all booking channels. This includes traditional business-to-business (B2B) as well as business-to-consumer (B2C) and even business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C). For those looking to expand their sales network to include home based agents, the ability to extend the use of the online booking engine to these groups will allow you to expand the reach of your sales network. Mobile ready applications are another key feature to look for.

Innovative travel technology solutions that quickly and easily combine travel components such as Cruise + Air + Hotel together to create Custom Packages have become increasingly important as travel agents look to create unique packaged offers to their consumers. The Dynamic Packaging of components has also become increasingly popular with consumers looking to create their own unique packaged experience. Booking Engines which automatically offer a hotel reservation after an airline reservation is complete not only make the booking process more efficient, but can also help your travel business increase hotel bookings significantly and drive up your overall sales volume.

Finding travel technology that will have your online business driving efficiencies through innovation is important. Finding the right technology partner to help make this happen is the key to success.

 

Is Your Online Travel Booking Engine Mobile?

Mobile booking3

Smart phones are not just for phone calls. They are used for wide variety of tasks which include browsing the internet, text messaging, emails, banking, driving directions and even shopping. Travel companies were quick to recognize the potential benefits of mobile technology and have embraced it as part of their overall product distribution plan. There’s a mobile app for almost everything today and the popularity of airline mobile apps is changing the way consumers research and book flights.

Some of the travel technology solutions available today include an optional air mobile app that takes advantage of all the benefits an online travel agency air booking engine offers combined with the ease and mobility of using a smart phone to book a flight. Some offer mobile applications as an optional “add-on” to an existing airline booking engine while some develop them independently. A mobile booking engine is a great way for any travel agent to serve their existing clients “on the go” or reach a new generation of travelers who exclusively use their smart phones and tablets to research and book their travel.

To get started, you’ll want to begin with the basics like a website that is mobile ready so that customers can find your business quickly and easily online using the device they choose. Next you’ll want to add a mobile booking engine that combines integrated cutting edge technology with the convenience and benefits of an online travel agent booking engine. Many online booking engines are designed to support a client’s own unique “Look & Feel” with the headers, footers and style sheets customized to provide a seamless online experience for customers. Complete private label versions are also available where clients can design the complete layout of their online air booking engine themselves. It all just depend s upon what your requirements and budget are.

Most large online travel agents have built applications that use responsive technology to serve today’s growing number of consumers who use their mobile device to purchase travel products as well as those that switch between devices during the research and booking process. Now, regardless of the type of device a customer uses to access a website, applications built using responsive technology can automatically adjust the screen layout based on the type of device being used.

For those looking to have a dedicated Mobile App, there are several companies designing and developing custom Apps, while other companies offer mobile ready applications as an optional “add-on” to an existing air booking engine. Either approach offers Consumers the ease and mobility of using a smart phone or tablet. Mobile Apps and mobile responsive technology are no longer just available for the big brand names either. Travel software companies can now provide any size travel agency an affordable mobile booking engine built using the latest technology with the powerful tools to they need to compete with any size online travel business.

Finding an online booking solution with the right combination of features for your business can be critical and the key to the success of your online travel business. Finding a technology partner with the right solutions can be just as important.

Collaboration Developing Travel Technology is Key

Collaboration Developing Travel Technology is Key

There are so many online travel technology solutions available in the market today offering so many different product options that finding the right one for your business can often be overwhelming for many. Of course you’ll want to find a solution that accesses the content you are looking with the administrative tools you’ll need to adjust a products selling price or offer a special promotion. Most of the online travel booking engines in the market today come with these basics which can be enough to get you online. But is simply getting your business online enough in today’s crowded marketplace?

A handful of large Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) control a significant portion of the mass market where price is a main driver. These online conglomerates have amassed such “buying power” with travel suppliers that they are able to secure the lowest prices available at the highest commission rates, making them difficult to compete with on price alone. Many have made significant investment in technology and infrastructure to improve their efficiency which has secured their competitive advantage even more.

But there is hope for those looking to compete online with these giants, it’s just a matter of doing your research, developing your strategy and implementing your plan. Quite often, online sales are a driving force behind a company’s decision to change technology. Online sales can save a business both time and money making it the most cost effective method to serve today’s consumer. The innovative travel technology solutions available today allows technology providers to design and develop flexible & fully scalable applications that can easily grow with your business. Many can even provide the ability for you to customize the application templates to maintain your company’s own unique branding. And to serve today’s growing number of consumers who use their mobile device to purchase travel products as well as those that switch between devices during the research and booking process, many are choosing applications that use responsive technology that can automatically adjust the screen layout based on the type of device being used.

Experience has shown that some of the best travel technology solutions are the result of collaboration. Software Developers, Suppliers and Travel Agents all provide valuable input on how to design and develop the ultimate online travel booking engine. Each of these participants in the sales process play an important role and any technology should consider the individual needs of each. This type of collaborative effort can help ensure an online solution that automates processes and increases revenues while it reduces the time and effort required to complete a transaction.

Input and feedback from Suppliers as well as Travel Agents ensures that the technology connecting them meets each of their individual needs as well as identify areas for process improvement more efficiently. For example, Easy to Use applications designed by a specialized team working with travel agent users are able to deliver an online booking engine that reduces the amount of time required to train agents and gets them selling faster. Finding a technology solution with the right combination of options for your business can be critical and the key to the success of your online travel business. Finding a technology partner that uses a collaborative approach can be just as important.

Travel Agents Offer Value in Today’s Online Marketplace

Travel agent software

With so many travel booking engine options to book travel yourself today, many ask why use a travel agent when I can do it myself? Well consider the fact that you can spend hours online searching various websites for the best travel deals and sometimes you get good results while other times you just end up frustrated and confused by so many options.

The world of travel has become increasingly complex as more options become available that compete for today’s travel dollar. Despite so many options for consumers to book directly with an airline or hotel online, many consumers continue to use a travel agent for good reason. Today’s travel agent software provides agents with the tools they need to quickly serve their customers while reducing costs to serve them. Travel Agents are experts who know more about travel than the average consumer and have access to perks like special pricing and amenities. Today’s travel booking engine allows agents to offer clients the content they are looking for at the best price available.

But a good travel agent can offer more than just travel recommendations and perks. They understand some of the more complicated requirements associated with some foreign travel such as Passport & Visa requirements, health insurance protection and inoculation procedures. They can help you navigate these potential snares in your travel plans and prove to be a valuable resource during your trip. For example, a travel agent can help you adjust your travel arrangements due to an unexpected change in plans or an unscheduled flight interruption or cancellation.

The cost of using a travel agent can fluctuate based on where you are, but is money well spent when you consider what an agent can do for you. Travel Agents are experts in their field and the travel agent software many use allows them to save time by sorting through the surplus of information and find the right deal for you. They can research and handle every aspect of your trip, including air transportation, hotel accommodations and even ground transportation.

While it may cost money to use a travel agent, they know how to find lowest airfares and often use their connections to make sure you receive perks like free upgrades or special amenities. For example, an agent may suggest you consider using a nearby alternate airport or travel on an alternate date to save money. They may have access to a free room upgrade or special amenities because of the volume of business they send to a particular hotel. The additional charges that you might potentially save with complimentary Wi-Fi alone over a several day stay at some hotels can more than cover the cost of using a travel agent.

Travelling the world can be full of unexpected snags, but a having a good travel agent just a call away or access to their travel booking engine online is a great insurance policy to have in the event something goes wrong.

Finding travel agent software with the right combination of options for your business can be critical and the key to the success of your online travel business. Finding a technology partner with the right solutions to meet your needs can be just as important.

With so many travel booking engine options to book travel yourself today, many ask why use a travel agent when I can do it myself? Well consider the fact that you can spend hours online searching various websites for the best travel deals and sometimes you get good results while other times you just end up frustrated and confused by so many options.

The world of travel has become increasingly complex as more options become available that compete for today’s travel dollar. Despite so many options for consumers to book directly with an airline or hotel online, many consumers continue to use a travel agent for good reason. Today’s travel agent software provides agents with the tools they need to quickly serve their customers while reducing costs to serve them. Travel Agents are experts who know more about travel than the average consumer and have access to perks like special pricing and amenities. Today’s travel booking engine allows agents to offer clients the content they are looking for at the best price available.

But a good travel agent can offer more than just travel recommendations and perks. They understand some of the more complicated requirements associated with some foreign travel such as Passport & Visa requirements, health insurance protection and inoculation procedures. They can help you navigate these potential snares in your travel plans and prove to be a valuable resource during your trip. For example, a travel agent can help you adjust your travel arrangements due to an unexpected change in plans or an unscheduled flight interruption or cancellation.

The cost of using a travel agent can fluctuate based on where you are, but is money well spent when you consider what an agent can do for you. Travel Agents are experts in their field and the travel agent software many use allows them to save time by sorting through the surplus of information and find the right deal for you. They can research and handle every aspect of your trip, including air transportation, hotel accommodations and even ground transportation.

While it may cost money to use a travel agent, they know how to find lowest airfares and often use their connections to make sure you receive perks like free upgrades or special amenities. For example, an agent may suggest you consider using a nearby alternate airport or travel on an alternate date to save money. They may have access to a free room upgrade or special amenities because of the volume of business they send to a particular hotel. The additional charges that you might potentially save with complimentary Wi-Fi alone over a several day stay at some hotels can more than cover the cost of using a travel agent.

Travelling the world can be full of unexpected snags, but a having a good travel agent just a call away or access to their travel booking engine online is a great insurance policy to have in the event something goes wrong.

Finding travel agent software with the right combination of options for your business can be critical and the key to the success of your online travel business. Finding a technology partner with the right solutions to meet your needs can be just as important.