Last Updated: 12 Oct, 2020

Online Travel Agency Analytics: Data-Driven Approach to the Best-Cost Strategy

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Nowadays each and every person used to travel and stay most days around the world assisted by travel-related business, commercial and holiday tours, etc. Most people dependent on travel and tourism agencies for facilitating their complete travel and stay. A travel agency is a private retailer or public service that provides travel and tourism-related services to the public on behalf of suppliers such as activities, airlines, car rentals, cruise, hotels, bus and package tours.

The travel agency business has changed a lot in the current era. The travel agencies no longer inform clients about the availability of the flights, their schedule, issue the ticket and a commission from the airline. Nowadays with the availability of online travel agency software, customers can book online. That is why most of the travel start-ups are following the OTA model. 

Our online travel software, new doors leading to profit have opened for travel agencies. You can turn to customized package tours, holiday packages, hotel packages, tour for your locale or some specific places, and so on. You can concentrate on pilgrimages, leisure travel, business travel or any niche ones. You select your sector and then you can start your own travel agency with your suitable offerings.
    
Travel agencies and large intermediaries such as OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) are becoming increasingly savvy at applying customer analytics to enhance their own businesses, as well as enhance the customer experience. Just to give you an example: Everything starts with data collection. They’re getting increasingly good at knowing their customer, knowing their customer’s profile, where they’re booking from, and certainly, advances in geo location and such is helping the process as well. The result is that data collection is becoming richer. 

Travel agencies can better utilise their marketing resources & they can strategise accordingly if they know answer to such questions. Agencies should know customer churn rate at every sale funnel step. There are numerous marketing channels e.g. TV, radio, newspaper, facebook, google, bing, third party search engines etc. Various options in selecting marketing channels reinforce the requirement of digital marketing analytics by understanding multi channel marketing attribution model.

The OTAs and the travel agents have an advantage that even the airlines don’t, and that is, they’re able to understand the entire ecosystem of customers’ travel. As an example, if you go to a large OTA nowadays you can either just book a flight or book a flight and a hotel, book a flight and hotel and car rental, etc. They have this rich area of information from the customer on what class of customers would rather just travel and what caused them to book a hotel, what caused them to book a car rental or any combination of that.

Acquisition Analytics

 

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Acquisition analytics enables you to understand how your user acquisition campaigns are performing by attributing acquisition campaigns and publishers to no. of acquired users and their lifetime value metrics such as:

  • Conversions per user
  • Revenue per user
  • Sessions per user

Meta search Analytics

Metasearch, apart from offering shoppers all the information they need in one place, is increasingly becoming the next advertising battle ground, where the giants are potentially once again poised to have more spending power than hotel chains or independents. 

We have deep roots in travel. With more than 200 companies under management, dozens of awards and active hospitality industry involvement, we are a travel industry insider. Having seen Metasearch come to life and evolve over the years, we have deep expertise in Metasearch strategies to grow your direct bookings.

Consumers, especially the savvy ones, are beginning to prefer metasearch platforms that give them the ability to compare the offerings of both supplier’s and online travel agencies (OTAs) from a single screen and then be connected directly with their preferred website where they can complete the booking. 

Metasearch is not only an opportunity for hotels, but also for OTAs. Using metasearch ad spend models, hotels can invest alongside OTAs in a cost-per-click (CPC) to drive bookings to their respective websites. The profitability of any CPC ad spend campaign depends on the ability to convert clicks to bookings. 

Demand Analytics

 

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Demand Analytics builds tools to generate and analyze data in real-time, enabling individuals, companies, and governments to make better decisions. 

Demand-based Analytics is offering step-by-step changes in the capabilities of travel brands, unlocking huge insights that will allow brands to better target consumers, build superior products, and quickly adapt to changing patterns. 

Every company selling to travel customers is working against a ticking clock to attract a booking, searching for a customer before it's too late. This means that they need a broad understanding of consumer demand – the who, where and when of each sale both past and the potential future. 

Using data and analytics to unlock customer demands offers multi-billion-dollar gains for the industry. To understand how to unlock the value contained in demand-based data, read this free white paper, including:

  • Industry survey data
  • Expert insight. 
  • Data-based techniques and areas of focus that can improve business performance immediately
  • Real-world examples and case studies

Revenue Analytics

 

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Revenue Analytics is one of the world's leading machine learning and artificial intelligence leaders, and the company's dynamic pricing and revenue management application has delivered media space capabilities for over a decade.

Revenue analysis is not a simple task. It determines many factors such as the costs of products or products and which areas of the company need an increase in revenue.

Revenues are generated from the usual business course. All costs or profits and finances involved in the operation of the going concern are documented. Keep in mind the sold properties are not a part of this. Revenue is subtracted from the cost of manufacturing goods and services for sale. The gross margin is discovered and divided by the overall revenues.

The primary goal of revenue analytics is to increase a company's revenue. Organizations use RM methods, including forecasting models, consumer behaviour analysis, and optimization, to explore cost that accomplishes this goal.

Benefits Of Revenue Analysis

  • Helps you make informed decisions
  • Helps to determine profitability
  • Helps you plan for the future

Supplier Analytics

 

Supplier Analytics – the analysis of individual supplier’s performance, comparison of supplier performance, analysis of supplier risk, sustainability or diversity, or analysis of supplier base.

In order for suppliers to gain market share while increasing margins in this quickly evolving market, they must look deeper into their current and prospective customers to understand more about their motivations, behaviours and desires when it comes to their travel buying decisions. 

For many suppliers this can be both a technology and business process challenge, as in many cases their current system architectures, restrictions and internal customer data depth can limit their success. Fortunately, advanced analytics and digital technologies are opening the door to a new era of travel personalization that benefits both the industry and its consumers.

Costs And Profit Analytics

 

 

Costs And Profit Analysis is a logical extension of marginal costing. It is based on the same principles of classifying the operating expenses into fixed and variable. Now-a-days it has become a powerful instrument in the hands of policy makers to maximise profits.

The first step toward finding cost control opportunities is to identify costs that provide value which differentiates the agency from the competition.  An obvious example is a highly experienced travel agent. These costs should be considered strategic.  All other costs should be considered tactical – necessary but not the source of any competitive advantage. For instance, payroll processing expenses would fall into this category.  The company’s operational structure lends itself to this approach; the front office, by its nature, is more likely to have strategic costs than the back office.

On the other hand, tactical costs should be reduced to the greatest extent possible. For example, the payroll processing referenced earlier can be outsourced to a payroll services provider – who likely can do it better, faster and cheaper than in-house. This would replace current fixed payroll costs (staff, software support, etc.) with variable vendor billing.

For many smaller and mid-sized travel agencies, cost reduction opportunities lie less in the area of third-party outsourcing and more in the elimination of manual activities. When it comes to controlling costs, most travel companies don’t think of manual activities because they can’t see them, they’re completely embedded in the operational routine. In order to find them, management needs to know where to look.

Usability And Product Analytics

 

Our usability experts determine primary goals and scenarios of your product and evaluate your product based on usability standards and best practices.

Usability analysis and UX is a vast and complex subject, but one which can improve productivity and increase conversions. Usability encompasses several different aspects, from the site’s general navigation and intuitiveness, to conversion funnels, to the specific UX of individual web pages.

Our website usability analysis reports are based on real time data of user interactions with your web site so we are able to provide you with the most accurate usability analysis and recommendations. When you use our usability services, you get much more than just a website usability analysis.

Though OTAs are probably the biggest players in online tourism industry and usability problems remain an issue for most websites, no study has specifically investigated the usability problems of a single OTA site. Different from previous studies, this research attempts to investigate information search strategies and the usability problems of one single OTA site from an information search perspective. 

Focusing specifically on usability with specific decision-making tasks, the study adopted a mixed-methodology approach in order to understand detailed information search process and usability problems. Since most OTAs follow similar interface and information architecture, the results of this study could inform the practice of improving other OTAs' web usability.

Data In OTAs’ Hands

 

online-travel-agency-analytics

 

Online Travel Agency refers to a travel agency whose primary presence is on digital channels, such as a website, where consumers can research and book travel on their own without assistance from a traditional agent.  While OTAs are no longer considered new technology, they are a huge driver of hotel rooms sales and online bookings in the hotel industry. 
 
While large hotel groups like Hilton have managed to lower reliance on these distribution parties, many independent hotels rely entirely on OTAs to drive their bookings without even having a booking engine of their own.

As your hotel develops its rate monitoring discipline, it will optimize both its rates and its channels for the ideal distribution mix. The right mix boosts revenue not just by selling rooms at the best possible price but also by leveraging new channels and throttling back underperforming ones.

So why have OTAs managed to capture such a significant chunk of travel demand and place themselves between travelers and suppliers? And why do they continue to dominate? It really comes down to traveler preference, as seen through the lens of three core components:

  • Choice & Variety. First and foremost, consumers like to have all of their choices in one place. They want the confidence that they are seeing all the available choices for a given search. It reduces uncertainty. 
  • Price. Second, consumers want to be able to price shop. With all the choices in one place, prices are easier to compare. OTAs save a lot of hassle from having to open a bunch of tabs to check individual hotel websites.
  • User experience. Finally, these choices and price comparisons are displayed in an easy-to-use experience that prioritizes rich content. The user experience is also consistent across devices.

In effect, OTAs put their customers at the center of their operations and relentlessly optimized the user experience in ways that hotels never did. OTAs gave customers what they want and completely leapfrogged hotels, who struggled to keep up with digital transformations such as ecommerce and mobile shopping. And, as long as OTAs excel at the digital user experience, hotels will remain at a disadvantage.

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Oct 10, 2020

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