How to predict your customers next action.

The eCommerce weekly top 3

As part of our ecommerce influencer series, we ask leading UK ecommerce leaders to share their top three news items of the week. This week we take a different look at e-commerce from a travel and Airline perspective.

The travel industry continues to go through a rapid digital transformation and ecommerce is a huge part of that. This weeks ecommerce expert is Colin Lewis, CMO at OpenJaw technologies.

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The old air travel e-commerce systems were originally set up to sell seats from point A to B. These global distribution systems (or GDSs) are the Ceefax or Teletext computer screens you see in a travel agent still today and are the systems behind many of the big travel booking sites you find online.

However since 2012 large travel portals and airlines led by Lufthansa, British Airways, American Airlines, and Iberia have begun moving to a new system called NDC, or New Distribution Capability. This allows them to expand their e-commerce offering from commoditised seats to a wide range of additional products and services and also offer them through global marketplaces.

The system is really an agreed format or framework (like XML for the techies) and if you want to begin offering your e-commerce products through travel companies and portals you need to be able to deliver your catalogue in this format.

Like all e-commerce markets at the moment there is a big drive towards automation. Not just to reduce operating costs but to improve the customer buying journey and make customer service more efficient. Chinese e-commerce via automation and chatbots within WeChat has offered a unique insight around what is possible. Booking a journey can require considerably more personalisation than a regular product and it adds heavily to the operating overhead. This article gives a great overview of the problems and opportunities for Travel.

Last week our own Dr John Carney spoke to ecommerce marketers at the Dublin Marketing Conference DMX about using Big Data to model your customers. He demonstrated how you can find your most valuable customers and predict future purchase behaviour. As a result, you can begin better drive and target offers for increased conversion and larger order values. Here John gives an overview of how that predictive modelling works.

About Colin

Colin is an award winning marketer with over 20 years experience in senior marketing roles in travel and technology across Europe, Asia and Australia. Prior to joining OpenJaw, Colin has worked with airlines such as bmi – British Midland, Stobart Air, CityJet and Thomas Cook. Colin is also a speaker, columnist and founder of the largest digital marketing conference in Ireland, DMX Dublin.

Website: OpenJaw Technologies Twitter: @colinalewis Linkedin: Profile

 

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