Why the travel industry should take a leaf out of Amazon’s book

September 3, 2018

It’s predicted that Amazon, the $900+ billion tech giant that is revolutionising customer experience1, may disrupt the online travel industry next. So what can online travel agents (OTAs) learn from the retail giant to ensure they too do not get left behind?

1. Invest in technology
Ongoing technological innovation is part of Amazon’s DNA and has played a fundamental role in helping Amazon to get and stay ahead of its competitors. As early as 1998, for example, Amazon invented “item-to-item collaborative filtering” (the foundations of its recommendations feature) to help personalise and customise the browsing experience for its customers. Moreover, Amazon is always thinking about how to make it easier for customers to access and use their site – be that through mobile, tablet, or its latest creation, the Amazon Echo. Amazon’s thirst for technological innovation is certainly something which OTAs can learn from. By harnessing advanced analytics to better understand their customers and using best-fit technologies to better capture their customers, OTAs too can better position themselves as the vanguard of travel services.

2. Offer customers a wealth of choice
Amazon was named after the world’s largest river because its founder, Jeff Bezos, wanted to communicate to the world that his company offered the greatest selection (of books, at the time). Today, Amazon strives to offer its customers a limitless section of products – to ‘redecorate the shopfront’ for every customer, every time they shop.

For online travel agents, offering a broad selection of travel options to customers is also fundamental to winning customer loyalty in a highly competitive landscape. Indeed, as our research with Smith+Co, global leaders in customer experience reveals, the more listings OTAs have, the more satisfied their customers are – in turn translating into stronger customer advocacy and better business performance.

 


3. Frictionless payment experiences

Amazon is renowned for its seamless “one click” payments technology, giving consumers from all over the world the flexibility to make transactions with the touch of a button in any preferred currency. The technology even allows Amazon Echo owners to make purchases with a single voice command. By taking the pain out of the payment process, and reducing the possibility of shopping-cart abandonment, some estimate that Amazon’s sophisticated payments technology is worth as much as $2.4bn to the online giant. Clearly, if OTAs are to keep up with the payment services bench-mark which Amazon has set, they need invest in their payments infrastructure and back-office operations.

Amazon’s business strategy is centred around continuous ‘experience’ improvements, an understanding of what their customers want, and the ability to offer its customers more choice than any other player in the market. In a world dominated by disruptors like Amazon, to remain competitive, OTAs must ensure they too focus on delivering an unmatched customer experience. An experience that extends further than simply a user-friendly website design, to encompasses the likes of payment processes and security of transactions.

 

More Blog Posts

14 November 2018

How Asia is creating a booming travel industry

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, five of the world’s ten fastest growing tourism cities are in Asia, putting the region at the forefront of tourism in the foreseeable future. Compared to major western economies, such as the U.S., U.K. and Germany, where GDP grew at less than 2.5% year-on-year in 2017, the APAC market grew at a much faster pace. China’s GDP, the second largest worldwide, increased by 6.9% in 2017, whilst India, rose by 6.6% during the same period.

Read more

26 September 2018

Technology and travel – the past, present and future.

Over the past 20 years, technology has played a role in the growth of the tourism and travel industry. This blog explores recent technological advances and how technologies like big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms can be harnessed to boost growth and improve the customer experience.

Read more

31 July 2018

European summer 2018: experience trends are changing travel industry traditions

European summertime is a notoriously busy period for the travel industry, as travellers all over the continent jump at the chance to book flights to seek out sunnier destinations. In the UK, some airports have claimed that 2018 will be the “busiest summer ever”, expecting millions to pass through their doors between July and September.

Read more

25 June 2018

Nine milestones since 2009

Yesterday marked nine years since we started the eNett journey back in 2009. From day one, our aim has always been to shake up the industry by helping travel companies take the cost and complexity out of payments. And the proof is in the pudding, as the uptake for Virtual Account Number (VAN) technology has taken eNett from strength to strength.

Read more

29 May 2018

Our Vision for GDPR

The European Union General Data Protection Regulation is coming into effect on 25 May 2018. eNett believes personal data, privacy and security are of the utmost importance for all. In line with this, we are in the process of making changes globally.

Read more

17 May 2018

How OTAs are navigating the changing landscape of the travel industry

Nowadays, travellers have many options available to them to help choose destinations, compare prices and make reservations independently and easily. Competition in the travel industry is high, and margins are low. It’s clear that online travel agencies (OTAs) can’t do business in the way they used to.

Read more

11 April 2018

How fraudsters are targeting OTAs

Fake hotels are fast becoming a massive issue for OTAs, leaving them out of pocket. And they’re becoming ever more sophisticated and believable too. What can OTAs do to protect themselves from this growing threat?

Read more

22 February 2018

Costing US$21B a year - it pays to know about fraud in travel payments

In 2017 the impact of fraud is estimated to have cost travel intermediaries US$21B. By 2020 the impact of fraud is expected to cost US$25B, driven by both a migration from offline to online, and an expected uptick in the rate of fraud. Understanding fraud and its true impact and cost to travel businesses is the first step to combating it.

Read more

07 February 2018

Future-proofing your business for 2018

Anthony Hynes gives his top four considerations travel companies should be thinking about to get ahead in 2018.

Read more

12 December 2017

A Year in Review for Travel

2017 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for the travel industry. eNett MD and CEO, Anthony Hynes, recaps of some of the highs and lows over the past year, and ways travel companies can continue the growth trajectory in 2018

Read more

16 November 2017

Tackling Fraud in the Travel Industry

As part of International Fraud Awareness Week, eNett MD and CEO, Anthony Hynes gives his view on how travel agencies can tackle increasing levels of fraud in the travel industry.

Read more

30 October 2017

Key to tapping Asian travel market is payments

As part of International Fraud Awareness Week, eNett MD and CEO, Anthony Hynes gives his view on how travel agencies can tackle increasing levels of fraud in the travel industry.

Read more

27 September 2017

We’re backing World Tourism Day’s drive for sustainable tourism

Travel and tourism grow every year. Many underprivileged communities across the globe are being displaced - especially those in high-growth travel destinations. 'Repay the eNett Way' is our hands-on approach to make a difference in these communities.

Read more

29 August 2017

Great employee experience = great customer experience

A unique value proposition is one thing, the second step you take when launching a business is just as important.

Read more

01 August 2017

How Virtual Account Numbers Simplify B2B Travel Payments

Travel agencies are wasting time and money - it doesn't need to be this way. There is a solution today, it's faster, easier and safer than many other traditional methods too!

Read more

22 June 2017

Eight Entrepreneurial Essentials

From a tiny no-frills office near Heathrow airport, to offices in Asia, Australia, Europe and America just eight years later - what a journey!

Read more