First Published on 24th April, 2018
Travellers tend to visit 35-40 sites before booking a vacation, a number which travel e-commerce players are trying to cut down by embracing an experiment-driven design process for their respective digital assets.
As much as airlines can benefit from being in the consideration set early on in the booking funnel, specialists point out that they aren’t doing enough when it comes to targeting the “second wallet”.
According to Iztok Franko, founder, Diggintravel, one of the two hurdles as far as ancillary revenue generation is concerned happens to be the lack of a user-centric (UX) mindset. The other challenge is - IT and platforms not being flexible enough.
As per the findings of the 2018 Diggintravel Airline Ancillary Revenue Survey, airlines are in the early stage of applying the conversion optimization process to ancillary upsell and cross-sell activities. “Without a real user-centric approach to digital UX, you can’t do any real digital merchandising,” says Franko.
In order to be adept at selling what travellers require for their trips, airlines need to perform user testing on a regular basis. Focus needs to be on agile quick development cycles, for which airlines need to be in control. As we talk of the cultural change, alongside roles such as marketing data scientist, product designer, cloud engineering etc., airlines need to embrace new ways of running a digital organization – can there be a culture of curiosity, learning and problem solving? Is there scope for experimentation? What is failure in quick development cycles and how the same paves for positive results? Some of the bigger OTAs such as Booking.com and meta-search engines such as Skyscanner have already made deep forays into the same. All of this is as important as airline-specific systems that are being considered for creating personalised offers or serving passengers at all touchpoints.