In episode 13 of ARC’s TravelConnect Virtual Series, ARC President and CEO Lauri Reishus sits down with Susan Lichtenstein of DigiTravel Consulting and Dorian Stonie of Salesforce. They explore omnichannel retailing within the travel industry, including its benefits and the common misconceptions and challenges they see from stakeholders in adopting an omnichannel retailing solution. They provide insight from the perspective of suppliers, corporate buyers and individual travelers and discuss how omnichannel retailing impacts each of these stakeholders.

Use the links to skip ahead to specific parts of their discussion or watch the full video below.

  • 0:45Lichtenstein describes omnichannel retailing as the next step for travel retailing, providing more control, visibility and data insights.

  • 2:25Stonie talks about omnichannel retailing as another paradigm shift in the travel industry. He details how it allows travel managers to bring more supplier content to travelers, increase compliance and innovate their company’s travel program.

  • 4:21Lichtenstein describes the misconceptions and questions she hears about omnichannel retailing, including the most common question: “How do companies receive their corporate rates?” She notes how omnichannel solutions benefit travelers across different age groups.

  • 7:54Stonie debunks the myth that companies lose data and duty of care with an omnichannel solution. He explains how omnichannel solutions can benefit suppliers (airlines, hotels, car rentals, rail) and provide additional value to TMCs and travel agencies.

  • 12:38The group discusses the impact of omnichannel solutions on various stakeholders, including airlines (13:29), hotels (16:24), corporate buyers (17:52) and individual travelers (25:00), and the benefit of scaling up as business travel returns.

  • 29:35Lichtenstein and Stonie discuss the primary hurdles preventing omnichannel adoption like lack of resources, clarity on where to start and changing the mindsets of the program managers.

  • 36:45Lichtenstein shares additional data points on the willingness of travel programs to address service needs and opportunities.

  • 39:30 Stonie stresses the opportunity travel programs have to reset and innovate as business travel returns.