Skyscanner white paper: The evolution towards seamless flight shopping experience

The future of airline shopping and travel searching must be geared towards providing value and relevance to travellers, rather than simply focusing on price. This is the focus of a new white paper released by Skyscanner this week. The paper titled, “The Value-driven Proposition in Travel: The Evolution Towards a Seamless Flight Shopping Experience, builds on the travel providers previous paper, Vision for the Future of Airline Distribution released earlier this year which introduced the concept of the transition to a supplier-branded marketplace through the Direct Book platform.

According to the new report, consumer shopping habits have evolved from yesterday’s bricks and mortar purchases, to today’s online and mobile transactions. “While travel companies focus on desktop and mobile solutions, consumers are transitioning towards apps using voice and bot technology. Travel companies must align with this evolution, thinking beyond traditional distribution, towards more intuitive and value-driven systems.”

Featuring commentary from key senior executives within Skyscanner, the paper looks at the need for travel search to offer a tailored experience, combined with fast and secure payments capabilities, to provide a frictionless booking journey for the modern traveller.

However, travel companies face two key challenges: how to deliver personalised and highly relevant recommendations; and how to deliver personalised, relevant options with a branded, and mobile-friendly online store-front.

Skyscanner co-founder and CEO Gareth Williams believes: “Online distribution used to be a case of it’s either on your website and it’s first party or it’s third party. Mobile has changed the picture. Not only do you have apps and much smaller screen space, but you’re also now getting voice technologies: Google Home, Alexa and others, first party, third party. So really there is a blurred line and a gradation of degree of first party and third party.”

Interestingly, Skyscanner uses the streaming service Netflix as an example of an industry and organisation dealing with these challenges. Skyscanner VP of Product Filip states: “At their heart, both [Netflix and travel companies] face similar challenges of a broad and varied catalogue of options which need to be presented in a manageable way. People want to spend more time watching their favourite films or programs, and discovering new ones which meet their preferences and taste, rather than wasting time trying to find them. Likewise, people want to enjoy their travel experience, and spend less time on the bookings process.”

Skyscanner is working to deliver resolve these challenges through Direct Booking – a solution which is all about providing a flexible, optimised retail experience, with features which bring the right options to the top of the search in the increasingly small space of the mobile front page. It is designed to put the retailer’s brand at the forefront and ensure a direct connection to the consumer, regardless of the context of purchase.

To read the full report, visit The Value-driven Proposition in Travel: The Evolution Towards a Seamless Flight Shopping Experience