Talk to OTAs across the globe about their highest priority concern and you’ll hear the same thing again and again: Distribution. In an increasingly competitive, global industry, the ability of an OTA to sell and distribute services quickly without error is critical to driving growth and maintaining a competitive advantage over other OTAs and brick-and-mortar travel agencies.
But how can OTAs best achieve this? What kinds of software solutions must OTAs leverage to succeed in creating an efficient value chain? These are the questions OTAs must address in getting the most value out of their distribution strategies and providing the best customer service to travelers.
Today’s traveler opts to work with OTAs for the speed, convenience, and cost savings associated with online bookings. OTAs must keep these principles in mind when selecting the right B2C software platforms for their products and services. Consolidating various online sales channels can be a major value proposition in creating a high-speed distribution network, which can help OTAs stand out from the pack and stay one step ahead of the competition.
With this mind, let’s look at a few benefits OTAs will experience from deploying the right B2C software to increase their distribution efficiency and footprint.
Increased Search Results. The speed and degree with which OTAs can return customer searches is a key driver in growth, profitability, and customer relations management. Powerful computing capabilities such as auto-fill, past entry memory, and other convenience functions make it easy for returning users to research based on past entries. In addition, advanced search criteria allows customers to search under very specific or unique parameters - this also provides a path for OTAs to implement search suggestions based on defined criteria, which is an important function for user satisfaction, data mining, and dynamic packaging.
User-friendly Reservation System. High-volume tasks such as reservations and confirmations can be time-intensive and a drain on resources. With little human intervention, OTAs can leverage automation and a more user-friendly system to increase visibility, transparency, and agility across all touch points of the value chain. Because of the low fault rate, ease of search, and real-time confirmation and documentation, OTAs can can position products and services with great speed and efficiency.
Various Payment Methods. Conversion, or the act of getting a customer to complete purchases in their virtual shopping cart, is a major concern for OTAs in reviewing their sales and distribution. To help drive customers to click ‘book’ rather than abandon purchases in their cart, simple and varied transactional interfaces are essential. With so many available payment methods in today’s ecommerce landscape, travel websites must be able to accommodate these options. In addition, forms and other points of data entry should be clear, clean, and simple in order to facilitate smooth transactions and encourage travelers to recommend your website to others.
Streamlining Back Office Tasks. In a recent post, we talked about the importance of automation in streamlining tedious back office processes such as billing, invoices, procurement, and other manual tasks. In selecting the right B2C software, OTAs can virtually eliminate the need for human intervention to complete these tasks, which reduces strain on personnel and increases cost-effectiveness and efficiency. These manual tasks can quickly snowball in an effort to increases sales and distribution, and OTAs must leverage powerful computing and automation solutions to manage these tasks and avoid sunk costs in time and personnel.
To help OTAs leverage the best in B2C selling software, DCS Plus offers a variety of software solutions to help companies reach their selling and distribution potential. Through a number of DCS Plus integrated technology platforms, companies can leverage increases in productivity and efficiency while reducing costs and cutting complexity across each touch point of the value chain.