Workshop: "Advantages of using travel marketplaces"
Posted by Aina
The concept of an online marketplace is well established thanks to companies such as Amazon and Facebook. But what is a travel marketplace and what’s its purpose?
As it is with other marketplaces, the purpose of a travel marketplace is to offer a place for its partners to buy and sell. It’s about connecting travel companies that offer a product to other companies who are interested in purchasing it.
Let’s take TravelgateX as an example of a complete travel marketplace: on one side we have hotel product providers such as DMCs, bedbanks, hotel chains, channel managers, wholesalers, all interested in reaching out to the largest distribution network in the world, formed by OTAs, Global Wholesalers, Tour Operators, Travel Consortiums, who need to keep their shelves full and on top of it, get access to product that sets them apart from the competition.
Joining a marketplace means that with a single development effort, a Partner has access to multiple connectivities, whatever their product strategy is, ensuring a much faster time--to-market and most importantly, allowing businesses to focus their resources back on growth and away from the humdrum of creating and maintaining tech connections.
Help partners by adapting to demand
Marketplaces also help other solutions linked to travel, such as big data or mapping solutions more accessible, since they allow distribution through different channels and offer more options to get new partners.
If we look at online hotel distribution, one of the biggest trends are solutions aimed at allowing the hotels to control their own distribution and monitor price parity. A good marketplace can help hotels with the technology to do it themselves either via BI reports or by offering access to third party solutions aimed at resolving this problem.
At TravelgateX, we partnered with solutions providers such as Giata, Roibos, Hotelmize, DataBindr, Polaris AI, and many more.
Another well established trend is that of Online Payments. VCCs, or Virtual Credit Cards, although a relatively expensive solution, do a great job in reducing payment fraud. Another more recent solution is that of wallet payment solutions. Fintech companies such as PayParc receive booking data via API, convert it to a payment order that is then triggered instantly and automatically in parallel to the booking flow.
A travel marketplace’s ultimate is to create a value proposal, to create a breeding ground for new solutions to the industry’s challenges. It’s about creating multiple business possibilities in an accessible way.
Nowadays, more and more companies are using business intelligence in order to help them make smart decisions: from product strategy to suggesting new connections by using customer behaviour analysis, a good marketplace needs to be able to infuse data use in everything they do. Travelgate’s CCO José Díaz explains: “Amazon shows you products, taking into account your purchases and product pages you have previously visited. Another good example is You Tube, they suggest videos according to your taste, that is why you always find something you are interested in”.
Indeed, human beings are predictable and data allows us to know how people will react. The challenge is in transforming this data flow into valuable information for smarter, optimal and streamlined trading strategies.
During these difficult times, a marketplace presents new tools to take control of distribution channels, by helping its Partners with all available solutions - from connectivity between travel companies to innovative tech solutions aimed at boosting those connectivities, fostering growth, lowering costs, and adding value to all its partners.