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Happy customers, solid partnerships, and more revenue: how merchandising drives success for Travix

John Mangelaars

CEO, Travix

English
English
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Travix’s focus on merchandising was directly responsible for up to 50% increase in revenue last year.

The travel business is, more and more, a technology business. In Travix we’ve always known that.

We were not born digital though, and some time ago we underwent an important transformation, evolving from a brick-and-mortar travel agency to a pure online company. But more importantly and unlike other OTAs in the market, we decided to focus on flights.

By investing in data, technology, and maintaining a strong culture, we became the player that probably most of you already know: a global online travel company operating in 39 countries, with offices from the Netherlands to Singapore and more, five brands, including BudgetAir and Vayama, and 43 websites.

Coming from a technology background, I’m like a kid in a candy store. But one can’t stand still when leading a company like Travix. The industry moves fast and our role here is not to keep the pace, but to lead the way, foresee and catch the next opportunity that can give us a real edge.

A different way to sell flights

Every online travel agency has a different vision, and, in a way, we differentiated ourselves quite significantly by putting most of our efforts on flights instead of hotels. As a result, we established strong partnerships with airlines.

Of course, some six or seven years ago the air offer out there was a bit different from today’s. Offers were quite standardized and there was little customization to be offered to travelers.

But the introduction of merchandizing revolutionized air content. As happens when buying a car, a flight is now very much like a base-model on top of which we build up features to potentially create the product and the experience that the traveler wants.

Different customers have different needs for different trips. This is why travel sellers need to better understand the customer and show them the most relevant offers according to their profile, their type of travel or their past preferences. In other words: we need to think about the product differently, and also offer it in a different way, making sure that we show the right combination of options to the customer.

But for us merchandising is not only about offering the best options to travelers. It is also key to displaying the airline product. It is about the user experience and our ability to be real retailers.

Benefits for all

Travix has a long-standing partnership with Amadeus, often helping to co-design new products and services, allowing quick market validation for Amadeus technology. The last five years together have been a great ride. We started with  Fare families and then we continued further with ancillary services, bag, seats, seat maps… Now I can say we have a very complete and comprehensive portfolio that allows us to offer the right fare and product to the customer.

Our cooperation with Amadeus has also been especially valuable when it comes to standardization. It is good to have the flexibility to build our own features, but to be quick and efficient you need at least 80% standardization of the air content offer. That is one of the reasons why the role of Amadeus is so important.

We are proud to say that thanks to the implementation of Amadeus Merchandising solutions, last year we saw up to 50% increase in revenue year-over-year. This translates into a much stronger relationship with the airlines, who see us as a better partner. But what is more important, it has also improved our customer service, which is one of our top priorities. Our partnership enables to offer our customers a proper comparison of the different options, giving them all the necessary elements to make an informed choice.

On top of that, we’ve also increased our efficiency and decreased costs, because improving the transparency of ancillary services has led to a significantly reduced amount of calls we receive from customers, who used to enquire about these services.

The reality is passengers will only become more demanding in the future. They will soon expect the ability to customize the airline product to suit their specific needs, discarding options of no interest – all delivered in a sub-second, across all channels, with a seamless purchase experience. 

This is especially important as new initiatives like IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) and One Order will enable new merchandising techniques and bring them to market more quickly. In fact, Travix is adriver customer of Amadeus' NDC [X] program, with live NDC bookings in production since November 2018 via the Amadeus Travel API, taking our partnership a step further

Working with leading technology partners is a building block for success. In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, sometimes, this can be with startups which often serve niche or specialized use cases. But many of the core merchandising functions are best handled by established players – and this is where our partnership with Amadeus has made a significant difference to stand out from the crowd and unlock further growth.

Watch this video to learn more about our journey and see the case study here.

 


Tags

Traveler Experience, Live Travel Space, Videos, Customer Testimonial, Merchandising, Guest Post, Digital transformation