To be able to hold your own in today’s marketplace, you require, first and foremost, high-quality and up-to-date product content. Only with the correct content can companies catch the customer’s attention. In the case of tourism companies, the product content consists of information on travels, hotels, destinations, and leisure opportunities etc. In today’s competition for customers, only that tour operator which can provide high-quality product content — besides good products at attractive prices — will continue to maintain a dominant position on the market. Staying true to the e-commerce ethics “Content is King,” all travels and offers are to be described correctly and as detailed as possible.
It’s essential that product data — in this case travel information — is managed and enriched centrally and independently of sales channels. Subsequently, the information then be selected and individualized on-demand for transfer to the various sales channels, i.e. to catalogs, online shops, and travel portals. This is one of the use cases of state-of-the-art PIM systems (Product Information Management) such as eggheads Suite, functioning as the central data hub. Before you can get started, however, the first question to ask is: How does the data get to the travel company?
The Short Travel of Data: From Source to Customer
The main task at hand is clear: Get the product data, enrich and manage it centrally, and, lastly, provide the correct product information to the relevant sales channels for your customers. And all this as quickly as possible. This process varies from travel company to travel company.
Stage 1: Data Acquisition — Where to Get Adequate Product Content From
Back in the days, traveling companies and big-name tour operators used to have dedicated personal stationed at the target regions, driving from hotel to hotel to gather facts and photos about the various destinations and facilities directly from the source. The gathered data was then transferred over to the content department, where it was manually adjusted to suit the individual sales channel, e.g. catalog page or travel portal. In recent years, however, this process has changed drastically. Third parties such as Bed Banks, hotels, and flight operators are now actively integrated into the information chains.
Direct Integration of Data Suppliers
To integrate content for Long Tail products, you should rely on Bed Banks. Yet, Fat Tail providers such as hotels may also be able to describe their own offers on web portals. If the acquired product content meets the minimum quality threshold defined beforehand, it’s directly imported into eggheads Suite. This allows you to not only cut costs, but also reduce the time-to-market delay significantly.
Stage 2: Efficient Data Management
Product data is always to be saved and enriched independently of target sales channels in a central system. Only in this manner, you can sustainably reuse or build upon them on-demand. This does not only save time and effort, but also guarantees for a consistent style and market appearance. Not only for product content, but also for all media formats such as images and videos etc. The processes of saving and enriching data may be carried out manually or via automation.
Automatic Data Quality Control
Here, it’s essential that the data quality is checked prior to transferring the data from the central system into all sales channels. If a required attribute such as the price is missing, if the description texts are too long or too short, or if the image quality is insufficient, the product information should not be distributed. Additionally, quality criteria may differ from sales channel to sales channel: While a sales price may be required by all channels, an online shop may only require attributes for after-search navigation, whereas images with 300 dpi are only necessary for catalogs.
Stage 3: Data Distribution for Sales Channels
Hotel databases are to be automatically supplied with data, so that offers can be made available to the customer as soon as they’re online. Even today, print catalogs still have their rightful place — but the process of putting them together should be automatized as much as possible to cut down on costs. For this purpose, eggheads Suite comes with a fully built-in publishing module. It allows you to generate catalogs at the click of a button, while you still have the option to do last-minute updates of your product information even if it’s already checked-out for the finishing process in Adobe InDesign. This way, you can produce thousands of catalog pages within a few weeks. Additional features like the automatic text shortener further contribute to the degree of automation. For more than 30 languages via integrated translation tools.
Furthermore, third-party users like data suppliers can utilize our Media Portal to upload images and add relevant meta-attributes, thereby making them available to everybody for further processing.
Stage 4: Personalize Content to Distinguish Yourself from Fellow Competitors
Often times, the same offer is to be provided to a great variety of target groups, e.g. activity holidays or family holidays. If you connect the product content with the customer data, you can generate personalized offers or travel brochures at the click of a button. Additionally, you may also enrich these documents with further information in order to open up new paths for improving both customer loyalty and cross-selling potentials. Customers receiving offers tailor-made to suit their specific demands are also more likely to recommend your services to family and friends.