An industry first that makes it easier to comparison-shop increasingly complex airline offers in the indirect channel has been introduced by Sabre.
The new airline storefront capabilities are available via Sabre’s shopping APIs, which travel retailers can leverage to build a bespoke storefront and enhance their customers’ experience. Sabre expects to launch the new capability for travel agencies via Sabre Red 360 in the coming weeks.
Powered by Sabre’s shopping APIs, new airline storefront provides digital “shelves” that organise the breadth and depth of an airline’s offering in a side-by-side display to help travellers shop with confidence and make better buying decisions to meet their personal needs.
For airlines, the new airline storefront supports differentiation and more merchandising opportunities in the indirect channel, with flight search results displaying several product offerings for an individual flight.
For travel buyers, Sabre says it allows for efficient comparison shopping across several flight options and helps travellers choose the offer that is right for them.
Wade Jones, Chief Product Officer at Sabre Travel Solutions, said: “Airlines have invested in differentiating their brand in a number of ways. While this creates greater choice for travellers, it also presents a challenge – it’s easy to understand the cost, but harder to understand what the experience will be. Sabre’s new airline storefront not only empowers airlines to effectively market their unique product in the indirect channel, it also helps travel buyers communicate the total offer value.”
Through an API pilot programme to test the new airline storefront capabilities, Sabre has partnered with multiple agencies including Fareportal, the travel technology company powering CheapOair.com and OneTravel.com and Espressamente Viaggi, part of TravelMatic, a leading travel technology company and consolidator network in Italy.
Initial pilot results demonstrate the ability of the new airline storefront to deliver a broader set of upsell opportunities with more transparency into each fare.
Werner Kunz-Cho, Chief Executive of Fareportal, the parent company of online travel agencies CheapOair and One Travel, said: “Our customers demand choice paired with convenience and simplicity – this is not always the case with today’s airline shopping experience. Consumers want to compare products and offers quickly and efficiently, just as they do in a shop. That’s exactly what Sabre’s new airline storefront delivers: it allows us to group products for easy comparison, just as a supermarket arranges similar products on the same shelf. Ultimately, this modern retailing enables us to deliver an enhanced traveller experience that centres around offer value.”
Mimmo Cristofaro, Chief Executive at TravelMatic, says that in today’s world, travel agents are under increasing pressure to ensure that travellers receive the offer that is right for them based on their specific needs and preferences. “As a result, we require a solution that allows for quick and easy comparison across offers to help drive more informed decisions,” Cristofaro said. “Sabre’s new airline storefront makes all relevant content available in the initial shop, and as such we are able to increase agent efficiency and encourage upsell.”
Cristofaro says the new airline storefront delivers initial shopping results that include airlines’ complete product lines. “It eliminates confusion caused by different fare naming conventions and organises a broad set of inventory across multiple airlines to enable improved comparison shopping.”
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