Showing posts with label Software. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Software. Show all posts

Travel Technology Outlook 2015


Travel industry is changing drastically with the advent of travel technology. For the last few years, it has established a niche platform for the travel operators and assists them to enrich their efficiency with relevant products and services and thereby enhance their business performance. Travel technology outlook in the year 2015 can be regarded as the prospective tool for the travel industry.

If you are one of those tour operators who wants to get par with technology then you must try to focus on the following tech trends:

1) Travel metasearch: With the expansion of online travel booking there is an increase in customer search layer and marketing funnel. Online Travel Agents can be benefitted by Travel Metasearch, which will help them to invest in cost per click to divert customer bookings to their own websites. Travel metasearch has achieved growth in 2014 with an expected growth in 2015.

  • It has been analysed that whoever has the best skill to convert clicks to bookings will have greater capacity to outstrip the other competitors.
  • Travel metasearch can maintain an outstanding relationship with the OTA partners. Its technology enables them to sell more inventory than anyone else through its dynamic pooled inventory distribution design.
  • Seeking the benefits of travel metasearch, Priceline, Expedia, Trivago and Kayak have invested in meta-search channels.
  • Travel meta-search provides opportunity for direct booking in contrast to online search by large online travel agents which is often considered as “battle for eyeballs.”
  • Its results, in improving the customer experience and conversion rates.

2) Email marketing: As the number of e-mail users is increasing globally, so it has created platforms for the marketers to fully implement e-mail targeting and personalization strategies. Success in the e-mail marketing space is dependent upon the quality of the content.

The E-consultancy email census report of 2014 projects 20%, 22% and 24% of dealers, has identified three important points to focus on this year by 2015.

  • Analytics.
  • Specific data quality and
  • Distribute appropriate communications.

3) Social Media: People realized that social media like Facebook, Twitter etc. serves as a business and marketing channel in recent times.

Social media is a channel where consumers are the king. They are located in the opening, central and the last part of the purchase path.
  • Promoting products with a team made up of social media and digital marketing members can optimize your advertising cost through targeting millions of brands on a Facebook Page.

4) Mobile Booking: Mobile travel bookings are projected to rise across the world. One of the largest segments of e-ticketing through e- mobile booking is expected to see a flow in 2015.
  • According to a consulting firm, in the year 2015, the US is projected to comprise one quarter of the online travel market as it advances from just 2 % in 2011.
  • Asia Pacific marks more than 20 % of travel bookings made on a mobile device along with Brazil and Germany which is less than 10 %.
  • On a global basis, mobile bookings are growing faster than desktop booking that ensures 20 % against 2 % over the first six months of 2014.
  • Smartphones and tablets account for 21 % of hotel bookings, while a peer-to-peer apartment rental is the category with highest mobile penetration of 34 % globally.


5) Google Glass: Despite of the fact that technology in its current form is trolling consumers the airport truly seems excited to be using Google Glass. The airport authority created an app that allows the Google Glass wearer to quickly call up flight information according to the gate rather than call to report.

Though it may sound magical to you but it’s true.
  • Glass was being deployed around the airport and on the runway, being used to both track the passenger’s journey through the terminal and for getting information to operations folks on the ground.
  • The use of glass worked for the airport that made information efficiency and it will certainly help other sectors of the travel industry to set free ground resources in the coming years.
Conclusion: Travel technology will undoubtedly carve out a niche for itself in specialized global travel market in 2015.It will certainly trigger the individual DMC to incorporate the ultimate technology trend to expand business in this competitive era.
"Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers." - Wiki definition. Most of us know what exactly a CRM is. Then why did I repeat it? To emphasize on the word in bold - customers.

As a Travel Business stakeholder, your primary concern is having a universal set of happy & satisfied customers and multiplying that set manifolds over a short period of time. A good CRM system is the first step in that direction.

When?
For Travel businesses, it is a very pertinent question - "When does a company need a CRM"? Very often the question is on the validity of the following hierarchy-
  1. Leads 
  2. Customers and 
  3. CRM System
Which of these should come first? Traditional wisdom would suggest the sequence as outlined above but, traditional businesses are finding it hard to grow fast these days. It is becoming increasingly tough when faced with competition from multiple sales channels. 

For any organisation, a CRM system should always come first. Any lead that you miss without a CRM, is more than just a single customer that you missed; It translates into a habit and results in un-recorded losses. 

Complexity doesn't mean profitability


Why?
Often when business stakeholders say "Spreadsheets are good enough for us", they fail to account for this -
Spreadsheets are fine only till your business has reached a certain threshold.
When a Travel Business is being setup and has just started to grow, it is the perfect time to try out multiple CRM alternatives. When the business volumes start going up, it becomes increasingly difficult to change your business processes. Your commitment to client engagement starts from day one. 

If you have relied on spreadsheets till now, it's time you start measuring -
  • Number of leads generated per month
  • Paying Clients/Leads ratio
  • Growth of leads month-on-month
The numbers don't lie. If the numbers are stable and growth hard to come by, then you have missed out on converting more leads into paying customers. Spreadsheets have cost you dearly.

How?
Cost is a very important consideration for growing Travel Businesses. Thankfully, technology has grown faster and is now more affordable. Gone are the days of complex software installations and associated high maintenance costs. With cloud technology, we now have software being offered as a Service (SaaS model). For starters, the software is hosted on the cloud and all you need as a buyer is internet connectivity. What is in it for your business?
  • Plug & Play - zero installation time
  • Lower setup & maintenance costs
  • Automatic updates

Bottom Line
"Spreadsheets are not tools for client engagement". Depending solely on spreadsheets does more harm than any good over a period of time. Travel Businesses should look at CRMs as an important investment in client engagement.
Becoming a market leader requires selling more of your inventory without the added burden of costs. Right Technology is the key here.


Hit the sweetspot


For any Travel Business, be it a traditional or a start-up, it is imperative to identify their strengths. In these days of "best deals", when everything is available online, Travel Companies are facing the squeeze from their suppliers as well as customers. As a business owner, you aim to sell more month-on-month but how? 

Know your Business
Identify your key targets over the next 3-5 years. Software requirements are different for Tour Operators and Destination Management Companies form those of Travel Agents. It becomes more complex if your business is a hybrid. 
  • Destination Management Company(DMC)/Inbound Tour Operator(ITO) 
    Traditional sales channels, if not saturated, are yielding limited growth opportunities. Following pointers should help you decide the best software for your business:
            Q1.   Do you have your own proprietary inventory contracts?

              Q2.   Do you need to serve a network of agents/clients from your office? 
                Q3.   Do you want to sell more via different channels?

          Following are the answers to the questions above :
          1. A Contract Management System (CMS) that gives you the following
            • Digitized Contracts
            • Up-to-date room rates
            • Ready for direct distribution
          2. Back-office automation system to do the following:
            • Instant Quotations/sales for all requests
            • Serve more requests with the same staff numbers
            • Create packages faster than ever before
          3. You need to harness the power of XMLs
            • Use proprietary XMLs to sell more 
        • Travel Agency
          Traditional sales channels, if not saturated, are yielding limited growth opportunities. Following pointers should help you decide the best software for your business:
                  Q1. Are spreadsheets failing to manage your reservations as volumes go up?

                 Q2. Is your inventory management good enough?

                 Q3. Can you create quick offers/deals & market them fast?

                Following are the answers to these questions:
          1. You need a Reservation Management System
            • Bookings & reservation details available at a click
            • Online access from anywhere
            • Track payments without errors of omission and commission.
          2. Get an online Inventory Management System
            • Online management of multiple supplier contracts (rates, rules & clauses)
            • Manage your allotments and avoid overbooking
            • Track your best sellers for smart contracting
          3. You would need a Quick Package Builder that:
            • Pushes the packages created on your website
            • Allows you to market the same to your partners & clients

        Convert more leads into paying customers
        Regardless of whatever Business you are in, it pays to invest in a tool that helps you convert more leads into paying clients. You need a Customer Relationship Management(CRM) system that helps you attain the following:
            • Auto lead generation from e-mails, your website & social media
            • Track followups and staff efficiency
            • Smart reports to improve your business processes

        Getting your technology requirements correct is the first step towards future growth. Businesses often tend to believe that the current setup is working great and spreadsheets are good enough for their business. But, one should pay attention to this:

        Spreadsheets work great only till the time a business breaks a certain threshold.

        Up next:
        CRM v/s Spreadsheets 

        In our previous post "How to choose the RIGHT software for your Travel Business", we outlined the main differences between Software-as-a-Service and the more traditional desktop based software distribution model. Going forward in this post, we try to answer an oft-repeated question -

        "What is my RoI (Return on Investment) on this Software for my Travel Business" ?

        Assumptions

        Number of itineraries made manually / per employee / per day = 5
        Monthly Average cost of an employee = USD 600

        Number of itineraries made by a software / per employee / per day = 20
        Monthly Average cost of an Software = USD 1000


        Calculations

        For a company with 4 employees who work for 25 days in a month. A steady state condition is achieved in 2 Quarters post-software implementation

        Case 1:
        Excel or Pen & paperSpecialized Software for Business

        Number of leads reverted to in a day = 5x4 = 20

        Number of leads reverted to in a day = 20x4= 80

        Number of leads served in a month = 20 x 25 = 500

        Number of leads served in a month = 20 x 25 x 4 = 2000

        Growth in Leads served month-on-month with software implementation = (2000-500)/500= 300%!!

        Case 2:
        Excel or Pen & paperSpecialized Software for Business

        Leads conversion = 15%

        Leads conversion rate = 20%

        Number of holiday packages sold = 15% x 500 = 75

        Number of holiday packages sold = 20% x 2000 = 400

        Growth in holiday packages sold month-on-month with software implementation = (400-75)/75= 433%!!

        For a year based on assumptions, 
        Software cost = USD 12000 (costs less than 2 extra employees)
        Revenue growth achieved > 4X

        Added advantage
        For the initial quarters, when 1 employee serves 20 leads a day with Software, you get three spare employees to focus on Contracting/Sourcing and marketing.

        Bottomline
        The RoI is hugely positive for a successful software implementation as elucidated by calculations above. The initial investment in terms of money and time get justified by increase in revenue and staff productivity.

        Conditions
        Just getting a software is not a sure-shot way of succeeding. The above figures are subject to following conditions:
        • Software implementation must have complete support of existing employees 
        • Contracting/sourcing should be done more efficiently
        • Analytics data and reports are taken seriously for creating sales strategy
        • Patience is the key to long term and self-sustaining results.

        The days of manual quotations and spreadsheet-based inventory management for Travel Businesses (Tour Operators / Agents / DMCs) are numbered.  Travel Businesses that are aware of these issues stopping their growth are now focused on automating their business processes as fast as possible. With so many software options available in the market, it is a real problem to choose the right one for your business. Here is a quick guideline that can help you in choosing the right product and the right vendor for your business -


        SaaS v/s Desktop-based Travel Software


        1. Know what you want:  Get the big picture right. Invest in software and technology that supports your business growth and helps you cut costs.

        2. Accessibility: 24x7 easy access to your inventory from anywhere around the world is a major pre-requisite.

        3. Functionality: Is it easy to use yet, powerful enough to handle large volumes of transactions?

        4. Costs: Cost to benefit ratio should be done carefully before going for any software implementation.

        5. Updates: Are the updates regular to ensure smooth functioning of the system? The update process shouldn't be a drag on your existing business and instead, be a support for expansion and growth.

        6. Scalability: System should be supportive when your business scales up. Staff training should be easy and not unnecessarily time consuming. 

        When Travel is your core business, it is advisable to seek out the best software solution to supplement your business. A good software implementation is an important investment. It goes a long way in helping you expand your business, grow revenues and expand geographically. Businesses that are growing fast today just cannot afford to stay away from technology and still expect to survive the coming years with consistent growth.The time is right and your decision now will decide the future direction of your organization.

        Follow us for regular updates,snippets and what's new in Travel Technology .

        Are you prepared for it?

        You own a Travel Business and now you intend to go online. You aspire to create something as good as Booking.com and have already started your work towards it.  Before you go ahead, Let's first break down Booking.com's business in numbers.

        Booking.com in numbers
        • 500,000 room nights booked everyday 
        • 300,000+ properties are available
        • USD 1 Billion+ spent every year on Google ads alone!
        • 5000+ employees around the world.
        These stats prove just one thing: Booking.com is the undisputed leader in Internet Hotel Booking. It spends a lot and as a result, sells more than anybody else. Owned by Priceline, it competes with its parent company, Kayak, Expedia, Hotels.com and many others. 

        So what do you need to do before you go online?
        Your answers to the following pointers should give you a fair idea of how prepared are you for the long haul ahead-
        • Know your core business. Technology or Travel?
          • Spending years on building a technology backend when alternatives exist isn't always the right thing to do
          • Get specialists to do your technology work.

        • Know your market to sell more!
          • Do you have an online market for your products ?
          • If yes, then create products that cater to your market specific needs

        • Do you have the best rates?
          • Be prepared to spend time and money on contracting 
          • Get the right technology to optimize your contracting

        • XMLs do not always give you the best rates
          • XMLs involve multiple layers meaning higher rates for you
          • You cannot negotiate rates with the hotels/suppliers
        Creating a successful Travel Business becomes a breeze with right partners. Technology is the core when it comes to setting up an online portal. Right technology platform should make you worry-free without burning a hole in your pockets. Once you have decided upon the answers to the questions above, the next step is to select the right technology partner for your long term plan. 

        Follow us to know more about how you can create a successful online Travel Business!
        Did you add a Booking Engine to your website last year, last month or sometime back?

        You are surprised that your sales haven't grown as fast as you expected? If yes, then you are not alone!

        Want to know why your sales didn't increase?
        • Your Booking Engine came with inventory at inflated prices.
          • It did NOT have your proprietary inventory.

        • Booking was too slow.
          • Customers won't wait even for a minute for inventory to load.

        • Your DMC Business needs a complete inventory management system not a booking engine alone.
          • Best Inventory at best prices is your asset. Grow it with technology

        •  You still miss a large section of your leads 
          • You need a CRM to convert more leads.
          • Your staff cannot handle too many leads without tech support

        Increase Your Sales

        Do you wish to move beyond a symbolic Booking engine and use technology to increase your sales and margins?


        Get in Touch

        Connect now to know more!


        Skype: moxiter.sales
        Call now: +971 56 631 1082
        Complete Automation that makes selling holidays a breeze
        A successful Travel Business requires complete business & sales automation to stay ahead of the competition. Moxiter CRM provides complete automation for your Travel Business processes. It does that without forcing you to buy expensive plugins. (which you are forced to do especially when your existing CRM solution is found wanting)

        All your queries via web/e-mail/calls become automatic leads. Leads that you can follow up and maintain a log of timelines and current status. A snapshot below:












        CRM features for your travel business:
        • Contact Management Database
        • Workflow automation
        • Lead Capture Tools (Email and Web)- Completely Automated
        • Sales LifeCycle Management
        • Sales Automation
        • Task Assignment
        • Reporting
        Get only the reports that matter to your business. get rid of the junk data! 
        • Business Reporting
          • Number of Leads, Leads Conversion
          • Sales by clients/dates/destinations etc
          • Number of customers traveling in a single day etc.
        • Financial Reporting
          • Sales Reports (Net sales, Margins/Markups etc)
          • Net Amount due/payable
        Tell us your requirement and we get it done instantly!


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        Business intelligence that works!

        Daily/Monthly/Annual reports & much more at single click.
        A successful Travel Business depends heavily on efficient & accurate business reporting. But, reporting is different for Businesses that are small v/s large enterprises. Only at Moxiter, we understand this difference of business requirements!

        You have access to custom-designed reports that suit your business.
        A sample report is attached below:





        Get only the reports that matter to your business. get rid of the junk data! 
        • Business Reporting
          • Number of Leads
          • Leads Conversion
          • Sales by clients/dates/destinations etc
          • Number of customers traveling in a single day
          • Turnaround Time
        • Financial Reporting
          • Sales Reports (Net sales, Margins/Markups etc)
          • Net Amount due/payable & much more..
        Tell us your requirement and we get it done instantly!
        Know More


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        Next-gen Travel Technology

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