As customer experience-obsessed frequent fliers, we love anything that helps airlines deliver amazing travel experiences. Read a bit more about our thinking on the subject here.
Last week, a new release of the SAP Hybris Commerce travel accelerator brought with it a major new update designed to enhance travel customer experience by removing barriers between airlines and flyers. SAP Hybris accelerators are modules that provide out-of-the-box functionalities for key verticals, making it easier to get up and running with commonly required features.
This new release is compliant with the New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard created by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This standard addresses distribution limitations created by legacy systems, and is a travel industry-supported program that deals with the development and market adoption of a new XML-based data transmission standard. In other words, it makes everything much more compatible.
The way consumers research and book their travel is experiencing a fundamental shift, driven largely by the digital revolution.
"The way consumers research and book their travel is experiencing a fundamental shift, driven largely by the digital revolution," said Matthias Goehler, senior vice president and head of industry solutions, SAP Hybris.
"With the booking process no longer linear, airlines who rely on indirect distribution for sales will face major challenges when competing in a digital world that demands a 'retail-centric' approach. The travel accelerator for SAP Hybris Commerce, which follows IATA's NDC standard, offers advanced travel retailing and merchandising capabilities that meet contemporary business demands to drive business growth,” notes Goehler.
Using customer profiles to personalize offers, and allow for purchase of discrete upgrades, like extra legroom or a vegetarian meal, adds value to the customer’s travel journey with a more tailored, customizable experience.
As the world becomes digital-first, customers expect seamless experiences no matter what channel they choose, whether it’s web, mobile, kiosk, sales desk, on-board, or contact center. The travel accelerator for SAP Hybris helps bridge these touch-points.
The NDC improves communications between airlines and travel agents as well.
The NDC standard transforms the way air travel is sold through the travel agent channel by addressing today's distribution limitations.
"The NDC standard transforms the way air travel is sold through the travel agent channel by addressing today's distribution limitations," said Yanik Hoyles, Director, New Distribution Capability Program, IATA.
"Fully compliant with the 16.2 schema version, the release of SAP Hybris Commerce, travel accelerator, joins NDC players who are supporting airline efforts to provide enhanced customer experiences."
So what does this mean for the travel agency? It helps them simplify the non-linear nature of travel journeys. Customers are using more channels than ever to research and book. While half of all travel transactions begin on mobile, over 45% of bookings for tours and activities still happen offline.
To learn more about SAP Hybris travel accelerator click here.
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