The following is a guest blog provided by Priceline Partner Network, an Associate Sponsor of the Aviation Festival Americas 2015.
Priceline Partner Network (PPN), the private label distribution channel for the Priceline Companies, is expanding its reach to assist the world’s airline industry in broadening ancillary sales during the online and offline booking process.
Carriers offering shoppers the ability to add a hotel or rental during the air booking process substantially increase the customer “stickiness” to their website. By NOT offering these ancillary services, airlines risk customer attrition during the shopping process. Shoppers may abandon their searches and head to a full service booking platform operated by an OTA or others. After watching the shift from brick and mortar to online, the old adage of “One Stop Shopping” still rings true.
Adding tabs in the navigation to book hotels and cars is a great first step. Best practices include integrating the cross sell in the air ticket checkout path. This cross sell significantly increases the close ratio on hotels and cars. Increased look to book stats on these ancillary products translates into added profit for the carrier.
It seems logical to garner the highest return on each customer acquisition by selling them the products they need. Bottom line: It costs the airline nothing to make their customers online booking experience easier by seamlessly giving them what they need. With the addition of a booking for a two night stay at a typical business hotel, the carrier can expect an additional $25.00 profit on each transaction. Adding a car makes the transaction even more profitable.
Because PPN’s core business is offering PRIVATE LABEL SERVICES, the customer experience remains seamless with the airline’s branding throughout the hotel and car rental booking experience. Even the charges on the passenger’s credit card statement are private labeled.
While we’ve discussed the online customer experience, we would be remiss not mentioning the opportunities to cross-sell through the airline call center. Several major carriers do a remarkable job in training their call center agent’s to ask if the customer needs a car or hotel after sealing the deal on the ticket. PPN has call center tools to make the cross sell simple with little training time required for the agent. We offer a no-cost Agent Console that can be used by booking agents. Experience reveals that incentivizing agents to cross sell hotels and cars is the easiest way to get agent buy-in. PPN makes it possible to track bookings by specific agent identifiers in our real time back office management system.
Recognizing the rising popularity of packaging an airline ticket with a hotel or car, PPN has begun providing carriers with XML feeds of our net hotel rates which may only be used in a package. This is big news for the Vacation divisions of airlines that are always seeking great rates and inventory for their package products.
Finally, if you were to guess how much these types of services would cost your company, what would be your estimate? FREE would be the correct answer. Indeed, this is one of those rare examples where you can actually have your cake and eat it too. PPN offers all products and services at no charge while sharing the profits on all fulfilled bookings.
PPN wants to help you give your flyers the best products at the right moment. Our goal is to maximize your revenue, make it easy for your customers to complete their travel planning and have them return to YOUR website for many years to come.
To learn more about Priceline Partner Network’s Airline Services, visit PPN at Booth 10 or contact Rick Schneider at 772-252-4608 (firstname.lastname@example.org)[Image: Pictures of Money – Flickr]