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The Need For A Value-Driven Proposition In Travel

September 5, 2017 General No Comments Email Email

Skyscanner has today released a White Paper elaborating on its vision for the evolving nature of user experiences in travel detailing how the flight shopping funnel must evolve to be driven beyond price, towards value.Featuring interviews with a selection of senior executives, including CEO and Co-Founder Gareth Williams and VP of Product Filip Filipov, the piece looks at the need for travel search to offer a tailored experience, combined with fast and secure payments capabilities, to provide a frictionless booking journey for the modern traveller. This approach has been embraced by other industries – from e-commerce to entertainment – but has yet to fully take shape in travel. Skyscanner believes this is especially important in the age of evolving mobile advances – where bot and even voice search will mean there is an increasing need to offer relevant, fast, and secure booking on-the-go.

The latest instalment builds upon the strategy set out by the company earlier in the year in its Vision for the Future of Airline Distribution where Skyscanner introduced its intention to transition towards offering a marketplace through its Direct Booking platform offering airline ‘store-fronts’ with enhanced supplier brand and product upsell opportunities delivered in a mobile optimised search experience.

The shift towards Direct Booking and providing a richer shopping experience is driven by the notion that value to travellers is not always simply dictated by price alone, but instead by multiple other elements such as preference for certain airline brands, specific in-flight features, or ancillary options. Being able to surface travellers with the best and most relevant tickets in a more time-efficient manner is key, yet in ways other industries remain strides ahead of travel. Within the White Paper, Skyscanner’s VP of Product Filip draws reference from Netflix:

“At their heart, both [Netflix and travel companies] face similar challenges of a broad and varied catalogue of options which need to be presented in a manageable way. People want to spend more time watching their favorite films or programs, and discovering new ones which meet their preferences and taste, rather than wasting time trying to find them. Likewise, people want to enjoy their travel experience, and spend less time on the bookings process.”

Skyscanner has introduced several features designed to make the search process a more succinct and tailored experience for travellers. Last year the site introduced Partner Quality Ratings which provide traveller-ranked scores based on supplier brands’ booking experience, in addition to a recent Flight Quality feature which filters and ranks results according to an advanced algorithm blending price and quality to show more useful results in a straightforward manner. Skyscanner’s new ‘Travel Wallet’ feature available in its iOS app is also designed to provide a central storage location for travellers’ documents: specifically passports and loyalty cards, in addition to being able
to store details of travellers’ frequent flyer programs.

Skyscanner asserts that the need for convenient, relevant, and seamless travel search is becoming greater in the age of mobile, and will be essential when consumers begin to migrate towards even shorter interaction type platforms such as chat bots and even voice to search and book their trips. While in 2016 61% of all Skyscanner visits were made on mobile, the search site has seen a significant number of users searching flights on its more pioneering products; the travel search engine recently passed the milestone of having over half a million users over the last year to its bot and voice platforms across Facebook Messenger, Skype, Amazon’s Alexa, and Cortana.

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