Given that their only source of customers is online, tech is intrinsically at the heart of a successful Online Travel Agency (OTA). For this reason there is little or no room in the market for an agent who is not au-fait and up-to-date with the latest in the world of travel tech.
So how much added performance and efficiency can a good system provide?
For starters, the supply chain is uncluttered and simple with direct supplier contracting, access to bedbanks and accommodation wholesalers and de-duplication of replicated properties. The booking journey can be moved on and offline as required, giving total flexibility to the customer. Payments, commercial and financial reporting and B2B and cross platform selling are all improved for the user with an efficient system that can take the leg work out. An inferior solution equates to a profit handicap…and what business can afford this?
The customer needs to be inspired to book. Without this key step, there is no business. Identifying what makes a customer base tick, and eventually book, is vital. Self-reflexion achieves this, along with expert guidance and insight.
With the right tech in place an OTA’s performance can grow exponentially; doubling in size every 3 years is not uncommon. Competition is fierce and an outdated system will impact negatively on profits and – but this is easily fixable.
iVector can offer OTAs a fast, flexible and scalable 100% web-based end-to-end reservation platform. It also offers automated buying, selling, managing and fulfilling processes to help businesses across the travel industry improve efficiency. Recent additions to the product include mix and match flights, enquiry management systems, TOMS calculations, consolidated amendments, price matching and brochure contributions.
With such technology, OTAs see stronger conversions, improved customer service, streamlined margin management, better agent experience and a greater B2B relationship.
It’s a no brainer and to be honest, there isn’t time to rest on your laurels even if you are already a tech savvy OTA…
So what will the future bring?
- A buying platform will be vital to all OTAs
- Volume or specialisation will boom
- Personalisation will be key in the booking process – customers will expect it as a minimum
- Improved experience to uplift customer loyalty rates
- Opportunities to engage the customer to reach new levels – from initial search follow ups, to tailored advice to following up post-trip
- Social media will work in tandem with a tech solution to deliver a rounded, booking experience with maximum conversions
Having the best technology will change the game for OTAs. Those without it will surely be left behind.