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  • Writer's pictureMarc Pulisci

OTA's Growth Strategies

The following is an article “OTA's Growth Strategies”

by Marc Pulisci.


As we laid out in our article, ''What You Should Know About OTAs'', online travel agencies still have a long way to go to surpass real physical agents. It won't take too long though. The speed of advancement in tech is exponential and the applicability to all kinds of businesses is ever growing, this is especially true for OTAs.


Here are a few examples of how OTAs are planning to grow online:


OTA Growth Strategies

Priceline


As an OTA priceline.com is part of Booking Holdings, a world leader in online travel & related services. As more cars roll out their new WiFi and LTE capabilities as a standard feature, there is a lot of speculation as to how consumers will interact with these features. To monetize these features, GM (General Motors) and Priceline are betting on consumers using the car's dashboard to purchase goods and services. GM is now accepting apps in an open marketplace environment, and Priceline is riding the wave.

The app relies on voice recognition to lead consumers through the process of booking a hotel or flight.


Travelocity


Travelocity is mostly centered on transactions and to make this process easier for their customers they have added to their mobile app a built-in camera feature which is meant to read a credit card. Transaction speed is now faster, and we all know how much customers value their time.


Kayak


Although Priceline owns kayak they continue to work as an independent company. Kayak runs apps with iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Kindle Fire as well as their regular website. Seeking to make customers more at ease with booking their travel, KAYAK has partnered with Service, a tech startup that works to secure compensation for travelers. Service handles the claims a regular traveler would not know how to handle, like getting paid for delayed and canceled domestic flights. Users can feel much safer using Kayak now. This makes a big difference since this kind of protection was limited to physical travel agents that would speak on behalf of their customers.


Expedia


Expedia is focusing more on creating a mobile experience that keeps the user in the app. Adding features for their iPhone and Android app that allows consumers to view and share itineraries and opt-in for notifications specific to a trip, such as gate changes or delays. Easily sharing travel info with others. Aside from very aggressive mobile only prices, Expedia has made available their Rewards loyalty program in the app so that users can redeem and acquire points for making mobile bookings. Looking to better user experience throughout all devices Expedia's mobile site uses Scratchpad, a feature that syncs up all searches so that consumers can save hotels and flights that can then be accessed on any device.


Orbitz


Orbitz is planning to differentiate its mobile services using a loyalty program that went into place this past year. The Orbitz Rewards program puts a more considerable emphasis on mobile bookings than desktops by awarding consumers with additional points for booking out of a smartphone or tablet. Also, members may view hotels in search results with their points already applied. Similar to Expedia, Orbitz is also testing a set of tools that can harness large data to enhance mobile bookings. This collection of tools includes heat maps and historical data.


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