Whether consumers book their travel arrangements online or simply start their research there, today’s travel related business needs to be ready to assist them throughout the entire process. And all signs indicate consumer use of smartphones will continue to increase as more people are constantly connected to social media, so finding travel booking solutions with mobile technology is becoming increasingly important.
Integrating the online and offline research, shopping and booking experience is critical since many consumers will switch between various devices as they research and eventually purchase products online. Mobile devices enable consumers to be online anywhere at any time, allowing today’s consumer to start their research using their smartphone and then switch to a tablet or laptop to complete their purchase. While others may choose to start their research and shopping online before calling their travel agent to confirm their cruise booking. Regardless of the how a consumer ultimately makes their travel purchase, travel booking solutions need to integrate the online and offline process, provide the consumer with up to date availability and pricing and include detailed descriptions with pictures & images to assist during the research, shopping and booking process.
Applications should be easy to use and reduce the amount of time required to complete a transaction. The best travel booking solutions are flexible and easily customized to support each client’s own brand identity or unique selling style. While some technology providers may host the application, the header, footer as well as the look and feel should all be easily customizable to provide a seamless online experience. Multiple selling channels should be easily managed using a single application and designed to quickly set up additional users and affiliated websites. Whether your customer books directly with a travel agent (B2B) -or- they prefer to shop and book online (B2C), your Booking Engine needs the ability to service them quickly and easily.
Many travel booking solutions are built using secure, scalable online booking platforms that are designed to meet the demands of suppliers, traditional or online travel agencies as well as consumers. And with the pace at which fares or schedules can change, real-time connectivity with suppliers can help you ensure that the most accurate and up to the minute schedule, availability and pricing are provided. Business management tools can help provide you the controls needed to easily manage your business. Revenue Management tools include the ability to mark up or mark down a product’s selling price and even the ability to search multiple provider content sources for the best price. Display biasing capabilities and the ability to highlight value-add offers in the availability display can give your business full control of what your customers are presented. Robust reporting tools are also available that allow for quick and easy business tracking.
Finding a travel booking solution with the right combination of options for your business can be a critical decision. Finding a technology partner that will help you reach today’s mobile consumer where and how they shop for travel can be just as important.