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Amadeus continues to push back the boundaries of online shopping technology for the travel sector. Amadeus Affinity Shopper, the first solution that enables travellers to shop by their desired travel experience on an airline website, was presented yesterday at the Phocuswright Conference in Orlando, USA. Amadeus Affinity Shopper is based on the Amadeus Extreme Search concept which allows consumers to ask on-line open questions such as 'where can I go, what can I do, for what I want to spend?' They instantly find clear precise alternatives to make their selection on the same search page, without the need to insert a destination city or a date of travel, unless they already know where they want to go.
• In an industry first, Amadeus presents Affinity Shopper, reinventing the travel shopping experience on airline websites
• The innovative solution inspires airline customers to shop by their desired travel experience
Madrid, Spain, 18 November, 2009: Amadeus, a global leader in technology for the travel and tourism market continues to push back the boundaries of online shopping technology for the travel sector. Amadeus Affinity Shopper, the first solution that enables travellers to shop by their desired travel experience on an airline website, was presented yesterday at the Phocuswright Conference in Orlando, USA.
Amadeus Affinity Shopper is based on the Amadeus Extreme Search concept which allows consumers to ask on-line open questions such as “where can I go, what can I do, for what I want to spend?” They instantly find clear precise alternatives to make their selection on the same search page, without the need to insert a destination city or a date of travel, unless they already know where they want to go.
In an industry first, Amadeus Affinity Shopper has now brought this innovative concept to airline websites. Amadeus Vice President, Sales & e-Commerce Platforms, Denis Lacroix said: “With the Extreme Search technology that drives Amadeus Affinity Shopper, airline customers can search by budget, type of activity or geography – all on a single page - and receive relevant responses instantly. This completely overthrows established practice on airline websites, which generally requires that research is done based on known destinations and specific travel dates.”
Amadeus Affinity Shopper combines on a single page all search functions available in the market today, including calendar display, price, destination, theme and map display. In addition, the search and shopping process is seamlessly integrated into the booking flow, allowing the traveller to purchase the chosen trip on the same website.
This innovative approach improves significantly the online shopping experience for travellers, by giving them the power to conduct highly intuitive and personalised travel search, quickly find their ideal travel options and reduce the time to plan and book trips. For an airline, this means they are able to capture the traveller’s attention early in the search process and engage them into a booking, thereby growing their share of the leisure market.
Marcus Casey, Head of e-Commerce & Mobile of Lufthansa Passenger Airlines, who have piloted the solution, said: “Amadeus Affinity Shopper gives our customers further options to use our website as a traveller playground where users can explore and determine their trip based on what they would like to do during their travel. Our customers are able to conduct a search for a “beach holiday in Europe based on a budget range”, or even a completely open search for “a holiday for less than, for example, $700 per person. The ability to inspire the traveller to search easily and fast, through quality data, gives us a considerable competitive edge.”
“Current searching is not in line with the way people think,” Lacroix pointed out. “Travellers often do not know what they really want, and even if they do, they will still want to compare options and offers. Research conducted for our leisure travel technology business revealed that 70 percent of holiday makers do not have a firm idea of where they want to go when they start looking . This new search technology will map onto the way consumers want to purchase travel.”
A new report by Amadeus, The Amateur-Expert Traveller, emphasises further the need for technological innovation to engage and effectively serve the needs of the new generation of travellers. According to the report, the average consumer has more knowledge and decisive power than ever before, through the internet. In parallel, niche travel and services represent a significant opportunity for the travel industry. A third finding points to an explosion of innovation that will deliver a journey that is more responsive to the needs of this current consumer. Amadeus´ Affinity Shopper is a tangible example of such innovation.
“By helping travellers navigate the overwhelming amount of information on the internet we can help the industry to increase customer satisfaction and retention rates. We can help travel sellers such as airlines promote destinations and up-sell ancillary products,” said Lacroix.
Built on Amadeus’ Airline e-Commerce suite which is shared by many airlines, Amadeus Affinity Shopper increases the efficiency of the online channel for airlines whilst improving the customer experience.
The underlying concept of Amadeus Extreme Search
Innovation, inspiration, interaction, transparency, data quality and unique speed are the hallmarks of Amadeus´ new concept of Extreme Search. The underlying technology is capable of processing billion of offers in about 30 milliseconds. Search functions are available on a single page such as calendar display, price and destination, but also travel themes (beach, adventure, cultural) and map displays.
Amadeus Extreme Search will continue to evolve, leveraging the Amadeus Massive Computational Platform the company has recently developed.
Notes to the editors
1) A summary of the benefits Amadeus Affinity Shopper brings:
• increased loyalty of online customers and growth in website traffic, by offering user-friendly search functionality and a secure tool to find the best fare
• Increased online sales as a result of a better look-to-book ratio because of the improved user experience and quality of advice available
• The shared technological platform on which Affinity Shopper is based reduces the cost to maintain and develop the infrastructure
• Increased satisfaction with the online shopping experience through fast location of the best offers that fully correspond to their expectations.
• Inspiration and choice of competitive destinations – all through an intuitive, graphical interface.
2) Evolution of online travel search tools at Amadeus
Amadeus has a strong track record in the provision of e-commerce systems for the travel industry. Some of the search and shopping milestone solutions are:
2002: Through Amadeus Value Pricer, a query returned a dozen cheapest recommendations for air travel between two points - for a requested service class (business, economy etc).
2003: Amadeus Master Pricer returned some two hundred cheapest recommendations for air travel for the requested service class.
2004: Amadeus Flex Pricer brought more advanced functionalities of low fare search - calendar displays and fare families. This empowered consumers to search for the lowest fare in a calendar display, for a specific range of dates, or if they chose, to pay a bit more for more privileges or services – within their requested service class.
2009: Amadeus Extreme Search has now delivered the first in a family of solutions that will allow consumers to carry out highly intuitive and personalised travel searches online. Amadeus Affinity Shopper has now brought this new concept of extreme search to airline websites.
2010: Enhanced Extreme Search tools for online and leisure travel agencies will be rolled out.
Amadeus is the chosen technology partner for providers, sellers, and buyers of travel. The company provides distribution, IT and point-of-sale solutions to help its customers adapt, grow and succeed in the fast changing travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (airlines, hotels, car rental companies, railway companies, ferry lines, cruise lines, insurance companies and tour operators), travel sellers (travel agencies) and travel buyers (corporations and travellers).
In just a few years, Amadeus has become a leading airline IT provider offering a fast growing portfolio of unique new generation solutions shared by a community of over 200 airlines. The portfolio includes the Amadeus Altea Suite (new generation customer management solution), the Amadeus e-Commerce Suite and other added value solutions like Amadeus Revenue Integrity.
Amadeus has central sites in Madrid (corporate headquarters & marketing), Nice (development) and Erding (Operations – data processing centre) and regional offices in Miami, Buenos Aires, Bangkok and Dubai. At market level, Amadeus maintains customer operations through 71 local Amadeus Commercial Organisations covering 219 markets.
The company is majority owned by WAM Acquisition, whose shareholders are BC Partners, Cinven, Air France, Iberia and Lufthansa. Amadeus employs over 8,900 employees worldwide, representing 105 nationalities.
More information about Amadeus is available at: http://www.amadeus.com
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