With over 95% of travellers using digital devices when organising a trip, an omni-channel strategy has become a vital necessity for any travel agent of the 21st century.
The truth is that omni-channel shopping has moved from a ‘talked about’ strategy that could potentially increase the convenience of shopping, to becoming a customer expectation and demand.
The emergence of smartphones has changed the ways in which travellers access information. Mobile phones now form an integral part of the travel experience, from the moment of inspiration (discussing travel ideas with friends over social networks), the trip itself (using tools to manage for example travel disruptions) to the moment the traveller returns home and shares photos and comments about his or her trip.
A recent Amadeus study shows that the African traveller highly values the omni-channel approach. Although a high percentage of travellers still prefer to book with bricks and mortar travel agents, they want their travel agent to offer online and mobile solutions from pre-booking travel research to booking and posting reviews.
As concluded in this research, African travellers want to plan and book their hotel stay on their mobile phone. If their travel plans are disrupted, they want to be able to make the necessary changes on the go. And, if the hotel isn’t up to standard or they feel the service they receive falls short, travellers want to be able to post a review on the spot.
In the digital era, buyers are increasingly shopping through their laptops, desktops and mobile devices and travel is no exception. Travel agents who embrace this trend and evolve by ramping up their omni-channel retail technology will therefore benefit greatly.
To give you an example: an omni-channel approach allows the travel agency to respond to the traveller needs at any point of the travel cycle. It is inspiring (as it gives travel agencies the possibility of tapping into multi-media solutions that people can consult before travelling), customer service focused (as it is 24×7 and can attend your customers’ needs whilst travelling) and can bring higher satisfaction and additional revenues.
Are you not really sure where to start? At Amadeus we have the right technology to guide the travel agencies through this process and help them sell across multiple channels and devices.