Intelligent CXO Issue 25 | Page 43

FEATURE from beginning to end . But travel retailers can look to other examples of great consumer retail experiences for inspiration .
Let ’ s consider how companies like Amazon and ASOS have differentiated themselves . As single marketplaces for thousands of suppliers , they provide consumers with a one-stop-shop for their needs . Travel agencies are uniquely positioned to be this one-stop-shop within the travel ecosystem . They can add meaningful value to consumers ’ experiences while using modern retail solutions to streamline the shopping process . There ' s a lot of competition in the space , so a modern travel retailer needs to craft a unique user experience that makes them the landing spot for purchase . Better retailing and merchandising technology are key to this unique experience .
Consumers want personalisation but they don ’ t necessarily expect it , especially in travel . Our research supports the fact that travellers don ’ t trust that curation is done well enough to take the full range of choices out of their hands . They ’ d rather suffer the work of sorting choices than let the retailer choose for them and maybe get it wrong ( 78 %). But , a clear majority ( 64 %) said if they received customised offers from companies they have already purchased from , they would likely buy from them again .
To stand out from the crowd , travel agents should prioritse personalised offers and recommendations . This will cement their position as a go-to contact and resource for all of their travel needs . The right travel technology can help agents achieve this capability . Content that is provided to agents can be delivered via data that can then be used by AI algorithms to guarantee shoppers see what they need when searching . By making travel content ‘ retail ready ’, agency shelves are prepared to display the right fares and personalised offers . If consumers feel heard , this system builds loyalty , trust and earns the ultimate compliment – repeated business .
It ’ s time to get modern
Jen Catto , Chief Marketing Officer at Travelport
Travel suppliers have continued to improve their direct channels . They ’ ve broadened their offers to provide travellers with updated routes , more choice in seat sizes , extra legroom , preordered meals and more . But , if travellers can ’ t access these choices all in one place , customers will continue to have complex fragmented experiences and everyone loses out .
Investing in the technology needed to improve travel retailing enables travel agents more choice and better knowledge when servicing customers . The benefits then come full circle – when travel agencies ‘ get modern ’, travellers purchase more and suppliers earn more .
‘ Getting modern ’ is a process . The journey can be a long and challenging one for agencies without the proper technical support , and without proper investment into improving older systems , the travel industry is at a risk of falling behind . Suppliers have done a great job at servicing travellers . It ’ s now time to get behind travel agencies – the true modern retailers of travel – so that we can all deliver a better experience for consumers . x www . intelligentcxo . com