TECH­NOL­OGY WILL MAKE MID MAR­KET STRONG

SUN RISES IN THE EAST. DO SMBs TOO?

PCQuest - - CONTENTS - – Jy­oti Bha­gat jy­otib@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

SMB Ya­tra reaches to Guwa­hati, Kolkata & Bhubaneswar

Com­mu­ta­tion, Pay­ment De­lay, GST Com­pli­ance are the ma­jor is­sues faced by SMBs

Want to have a fab­u­lous and fan­tas­tic trip? Here is your an­swer. Th­ese travel apps can help any trav­eller in their trips and give much fun like any­thing. This is the time if you haven’t booked ac­com­mo­da­tion for your win­ter trips yet. Whether you’re look­ing for a lo­cal stay, want­ing to en­joy a white Christ­mas in your fa­vorite coun­try or plan­ning to re­lax on a sandy beach some­where, there are some great smart­phone apps to help you find the right place to stay...

MakeMyTrip

MakeMyTrip fun­da­men­tally be­lieves in mo­bile first and be­low are some of the ser­vices of­fered by the MMT Mo­bile app. The MakeMyTrip app gives per­son­al­ized app ex­pe­ri­ence to its cus­tomers with the help of data sci­ence and smart rec­om­men­da­tion al­go­rithms. Through this users get a fully per­son­al­ized App home page with a feed based on rel­e­vant cards that show the users flight, ho­tel and home stay rec­om­men­da­tions based on their search his­tory, book­ing be­hav­ior, lo­ca­tion and user seg­ments. Users who have made a book­ing, will get per­son­al­ized con­tent about their book­ing such as the abil­ity to do a web check-in for their flights, check flight sta­tus and know all the rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion about their jour­ney like know­ing ter­mi­nal in­for­ma­tion, bag­gage al­lowance, weather info etc. With re­gards to their ho­tels booked, the cus­tomers get the abil­ity to know the di­rec­tions to the ho­tel, check in, check out times, MMT As­sured hot­line, ho­tel call de­tails, re­view the ho­tel post check out, des­ti­na­tion weather etc.

Tech­nol­ogy

The plat­form uses mul­ti­ple tech­nolo­gies like Node.js, java and many oth­ers for back­end de­vel­op­ment, Spark for real time data pro­cess­ing, Kafka for stream pro­cess­ing, Couch­base for cache, grafana for per­for­mance track­ing and zab­bix for alert­ing along with many other tech­nolo­gies.

Ser­vices

· Zero can­cel­la­tion of­fer­ing on flight tick­ets

· Fare pre­dic­tion ser­vice for flight fares. We pre­dict the fu­ture in­crease/de­crease in fare for user’s search dates and in­form the user up­front so that user can make the book­ing de­ci­sion ac­cord­ingly

· A user can do web check-in now in MakeMyTrip app

· MakeMyTrip book­ing con­fir­ma­tion and e-ticket de­liv­ery through What­sApp

· MakeMyTrip has launched a new prod­uct for cor­po­rate book­ings

Clear­trip

Clear­trip is a lead­ing travel app that of­fers air, ho­tel and train travel plan­ning and book­ing ser­vices. With the launch of Clear­trip Lo­cal in 2016 it has be­come the first global travel tech com­pany of scale to of­fer users an op­por­tu­nity to dis­cover and en­gage in hy­per­local leisure ac­tiv­i­ties.

“The app fa­cil­i­tates end-to- end plan­ning and book­ing travel and in- des­ti­na­tion ex­pe­ri­ences. Fast to load and quick to book in­ter­face - Let­ting its cus­tomers do what they need to do faster have been one of the en­dur­ing pas­sions for Clear­trip. The app pro­vides a quick 4 step book­ing process which shows only the rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion to the user as against dis­tract­ing ban­ners and ad­ver­tise­ments. Its Ex­press­way fea­ture lets users store their trav­eler pro­file and pay­ment de­tails safely and se­curely in the Clear trip Ac­count to en­able just one click book­ings. Ex­press­way was a first in In­dia, a coun­try where mak­ing pay­ments on­line is com­pli­cated and prone to er­ror” says Subra­manya Sharma, Chief Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer and Head of Prod­ucts give space.

Cus­tomers have less time avail­able at hand and use mul­ti­ple de­vices while plan­ning travel. The switch from one de­vice to other needs to be seam­less.

In- des­ti­na­tion ex­pe­ri­ences as an ex­ten­sion of travel - Gone are the days of trav­el­ling to a place and see a cou­ple of com­mon tourist at­trac­tions. Trav­ellers to­day want a closer to real ex­pe­ri­ence of the place. In ad­di­tion, the trend of do­ing a trip without trav­el­ling is catch­ing up. In- des­ti­na­tions sug­ges­tions about what a place has to of­fer in terms of events and ex­peri-

ences is some­thing cus­tomers are look­ing for.

At­ten­tion to post-book­ing en­gage­ment - Post book­ing en­gage­ment is an im­por­tant part of the ecom­merce value chain and a keen fo­cus on op­ti­mis­ing the process is key to a pos­i­tive cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. Web- checkin, ef­fort­less on­line can­cel­la­tion, smart IVR are ex­pec­ta­tions that cus­tomers have of all travel apps to­day.

Tech­nol­ogy

Clear­trip takes a lot of pride in the mo­bile app that has evolved over the last 5-6 years. Clear­trip was one of the first In­dian apps on both ma­jor app plat­forms - an­droid and iOS. It has been at the cut­ting- edge of both plat­forms in­cor­po­rat­ing plat­form spe­cific fea­tures rang­ing from adapt­ing to de­sign changes, 3D Touch, Ap­ple wal­let and mes­sage on iOS to app links, smart lock and ma­te­rial de­sign on an­droid. Subra­manya Sharma, Chief Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer and Head of Prod­ucts at Clear­trip.

This fo­cus on work­ing on the lat­est and great­est on both plat­forms has seen Clear­trip fea­tured on both app stores as well as be­ing named the app of the year on iOS in 2014. Clear­trip has also in­no­vated on re­lated plat­forms such as the iPad and Ap­ple Watch - be­ing first of In­dian travel apps to be present on th­ese plat­forms. In terms of tech­nol­ogy, Clear­trip be­lieves in stay­ing true to the plat­form and build us­ing na­tive toolk­its on both plat­forms stay­ing away from com­mon in­ter­faces that may not be true to the plat­form.

KAYAK

KAYAK, the world’s lead­ing travel search en­gine, searches other travel sites to show trav­el­ers the in­for­ma­tion they need to find the right flights, ho­tels, rental cars and hol­i­day pack­ages. KAYAK web­site and App also of­fer smart travel tools to help trav­el­ers plan and man­age their trip, in­clud­ing Price Alert, Price Fore­cast and free itin­er­ary man­age­ment tool, Trips. KAYAK pro­cesses over 2 bil­lion con­sumer queries for travel in­for­ma­tion a year, and op­er­ates more than 100 lo­cal sites across 60+ coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries and in 20+ lan­guages. KAYAK is an in­de­pen­dently man­aged sub­sidiary of The Price­line Group.

“KAYAK helps trav­el­ers get the in­for­ma­tion they need be­fore they book and of­fers tools and fea­tures to as­sist them through­out their trip. The web­site and mo­bile app search hun­dreds of travel sites at once so that trav­el­ers have the in­for­ma­tion they need to make the best de­ci­sions” says Ab­hi­jit Mishra, Coun­try Di­rec­tor, In­dia, KAYAK.

“KAYAK is dif­fer­ent from other travel com­pa­nies. First, we are not a store, we don’t sell prod­ucts. We are a travel search en­gine, and we search other travel sites to pro­vide cus­tomers with the in­for­ma­tion they need to make the right de­ci­sion on book­ing their flights, ho­tels, and even cars” Ab­hi­jit adds.

In ad­di­tion to travel search, we also of­fer tools that will help trav­el­ers with both plan­ning and travel itin­er­ary man­age­ment:

- Price Fore­cast helps trav­el­ers de­cide whether to “buy now” or “wait”

- Trips helps trav­el­ers or­ga­nize their book­ings/itin­er­ar­ies

- Ex­plore helps you find a des­ti­na­tion within your bud­get Re­search tells us that the price con­scious, smart In­dian trav­eler does in­ten­sive re­search and com­pares prices be­fore buy­ing a travel pack­age on­line. This makes our plat­form rel­e­vant for users in In­dia as we of­fer com­pre­hen­sive search re­sults. We are a travel search en­gine, and we search other travel sites to pro­vide cus­tomers with the in­for­ma­tion they need to make the right de­ci­sion on book­ing their flights, ho­tels, and even cars. This en­ables our users to avail the best prices for their book­ings. We be­lieve our ex­cel­lent prod­uct will at­tract In­dia trav­el­ers to use KAYAK and will get them hooked once they ex­pe­ri­ence our one-stop travel so­lu­tion.

Book­ing.com

Book­ing.com pro­vides cus­tomers with the ease to book from over 1.4 mil­lion ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions - from homes, ho­tels, apart­ments, re­sorts, B&B’s and more -from any­where in the worl­dat var­i­ous price points that match their re­quire­ments. We also re­cently launched a fea­ture, Book­ing Ex­pe­ri­ences, a highly- cu­rated one stop shop for travel ex­pe­ri­ences, en­abling the cus­tomer to book, pay and avoid

queues at a plethora of ex­pe­ri­ences in des­ti­na­tion, from museums to tours and more. We also have 24/7 cus­tomer ser­vice in 43 lan­guages to re­solve any is­sues faced by our cus­tomers. We also pro­vide them with the flex­i­bil­ity to up­date, can­cel their book­ings from any­where and pay as you stay all in one place.

“Book­ing.com of­fers flex­i­ble pay­ment op­tions, in­clud­ing pay-when-you-stay, which means the cus­tomers can re­serve on­line and pay at the prop­erty on check out. For ac­com­mo­da­tion part­ners, we en­ablethem to main­tain com­plete con­trol over their busi­nesses, set­ting their own rates and avail­abil­ity and there is no cost to list the prop­er­ties on the web­site. We only charge a com­mis­sion to the prop­erty once we’ve de­liv­ered them busi­ness, hence list­ing on Book­ing.com is ar­guably one of the most cost- ef­fec­tive ways for ho­tel and ac­com­mo­da­tion part­ners to grow their busi­ness and brand glob­ally. This busi­ness model pro­vides both the cus­tomers and prop­erty part­ners the ease to op­er­ate and has en­abled Book­ing.com to grow its busi­ness in In­dia” says Vikas Bhola, Head of In­dian Sub- Con­ti­nent, Book­ing.com.

Ser­vices

We have seen an in­creased ap­petite for cus­tomers to search for travel based on their pas­sions and hob­bies, rather than the des­ti­na­tion. Hence, we de­vel­oped the afore­men­tioned Pas­sion Search fea­ture. It en­ables cus­tomers to dis­cover var­i­ous des­ti­na­tions across the world where they can in­dulge in their favourite pur­suits. Per­son­al­ized ex­pe­ri­ence also is a big trend that is emerg­ing in the in­dus­try, whereby cus­tomers want to cre­ate their own trip, pick­ing and choos­ing their de­sired lo­ca­tions and itin­er­ar­ies them­selves via their smart­phone, rather than go­ing

TripCase and TripIt

TripCase and TripIt both work in a sim­i­lar way, which is to com­pile your travel itin­er­ary from your travel book­ing con­fir­ma­tion emails. It’s pretty easy to get go­ing, just sign up to an ac­count and then as you make book­ings, for­ward your con­fir­ma­tion emails to a des­ig­nated email ad­dress, and it will au­to­mat­i­cally com­pile your itin­er­ary.

TripIt and TripCase will also scan your in­box so any new book­ings will be au­to­mat­i­cally added to your sched­ule. They’re both free to use, though TripIt has a paid ver­sion. TripIt Pro has travel points tracker, flight alerts and air­port guides.

Ser­vices

Trips can be shared with your travel com­pan­ions and there’s a so­cial el­e­ment that al­lows you to share your trav­els on so­cial me­dia so oth­ers can see your where­abouts while you’re trav­el­ling. TripIt and TripCase both have mo­bile apps (iOS and An­droid) which is im­por­tant to give you ac­cess to your travel itin­er­ary on the go.

Tech­nol­ogy

TripIt and TripCase send a con­fir­ma­tion email when the book­ing email is scanned and added to your trip itin­er­ary. It’s not a fool­proof sys­tem, so be pre­pared to do a bit of edit­ing on the travel de­tails, par­tic­u­larly if the book­ing con­fir­ma­tion has a lot of text or ta­bles. You may need to ad­just ho­tel checkin and check- out times, for ex­am­ple, to en­sure that book­ings on the same day are in log­i­cal time or­der and don’t over­lap. Book­ing con­fir­ma­tions from air­lines and ho­tels in stan­dard for­mat are usu­ally im­ported without need­ing any ad­just­ment.

See our Tripit tu­to­rial for a step-by-step guide on set­ting up and us­ing TripIt.

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