How do travel industry stakeholders define omnichannel retailing? What challenges can omnichannel retailing help solve?
At the end of 2021, ARC launched the Omnichannel Chatter miniseries as part of the ARC Talk podcast. In the series, ARC’s Sarah Boyd and Shelly conversed with a variety of executives at leading travel companies about how they’re bringing omnichannel solutions to life.
Check out a recap of the episodes below and use the links to listen.
The first Omnichannel Chatter guest is Steve Domin, a software engineer by trade who founded and now leads Duffel, an API solutions provider that enables travel businesses to search, book and sell flights. Domin walks through the problems he noticed in the travel industry as an outsider that led him to found Duffel and the challenges of introducing new products to the industry. He then touches on new features Duffel is adding and opportunities for automation that he says can improve the booking experience for airlines, agencies and consumers.
In the second episode of the series, nuTravel’s Vice President of Product, Rich Hunt, joins Boyd and Younger to talk about nuTravel’s role in the travel ecosystem. Hunt discusses how nuTravel’s shifted its focus to direct distribution in 2012, its initial launch with Air Canada, and how it plans to better involve TMCs in booking travel with airlines, hotels and rail. He defines omnichannel retailing as seamless travel journeys, shares some of the common misconceptions and lack of awareness he experiences in the marketplace, and describes what is spurring innovation as corporate travel lags in recovery.
Michel Rouse, who grew up around the travel industry, now serves as Chief Product Officer at FCM Travel, a global travel management company for corporations. He shares his view of technology as an extension of the services humans can offer and the need for travelers and suppliers to work together to find the best solutions. He then talks about the need for airlines and other suppliers to better know their customers’ preferences through data and the big shift he’s noticed in travel programs, particularly around sustainability.
Omri Amsalem, CRO and co-founder of Atriis, a travel technology company based in the U.S., U.K., and Israel, joined Omnichannel Chatter in January 2022 to talk about necessary changes to simplify the travel journey. He stresses the desire to have traveler journeys be identical across all channels and the differences in travel he’s confronted with in the countries where Atriis operates. He mentions opportunities he believes can be realized by improving on legacy systems.
In the final episode of the miniseries, Cornerstone Information Systems’ Senior Vice President of Business Development and Consulting Kyle Moser shares the company’s shift as a travel automation software provider to emphasize trip data to help managers and agencies service a reservation. He discussed the complexities of a travel reservation, comparing it to what someone sees of an iceberg above the water compared to what is beneath. He then talks about the increased value of travel agencies around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.