LONDON – As Egencia rolls out its global technology into the recently-acquired Orbitz For Business customer base, the Expedia business travel arm is seeing increased adoption rates for these new customers.
Orbitz for Business customers have seen their online adoption move from approximately 85% to over 95% after migrating to the new US Rail by Egencia offering released in May 2016. This parallels a similar trend seen in many EU countries, where Egencia has average adoption rates above 95%. Egencia attributes such high adoption rates to its beautiful design and consistent execution for interaction elements to look, behave and be found in the same way repeatedly.
Michael Gulmann, Vice President Global Product and Marketing at Egencia attributes this success to the science behind building product. “The key to having a successful travel programme is to ensure that you’re delivering an excellent, intuitive customer experience. Asking employees of today’s workforce to use corporate solutions that aren’t user friendly, and have been built on antiquated technology just doesn’t work. We’ve found that by creating a familiar, consumer-like experience, online adoption happens naturally and compliance follows.”
Egencia approaches product development with a philosophy based on the scientific method. Rather than predict the future, the company tests and learns a path to what product works best for business travellers. The design experience has three tenets:
1. Each page has only one function: search, book, check-out or pay.
2. Each page is as simple as possible.
3. Many pages tested through eye-tracking technology and user interviews.
“At Egencia we’re able to leverage the consumer behaviour patterns from the larger Expedia, Inc. family of websites. By using the data from more than 189 billion rows of consumer behaviour data, we are able to come up with theories on how to make the online experience better for our customers. We test those new experiences against our travellers’ clicks and usage of the platform in order to improve everyday on an already remarkable experience,” said Gulmann.
Features such as “Last Mile” in the Egencia app leverages data to improve travel programmes. The feature integrates with the Uber and Citymapper APIs. Since its release in February 2016, it has generated more than half a million interactions with more than one-third of users going for transportation mode comparison. According to the Egencia® Business and Travel Technology study, over 50% of US business travellers have used a sharing economy service, despite only one in four detailing that using these services is permitted and encouraged. In order to help Travel Managers gain visibility and transparency into this bourgeoning traveller service, Egencia now allows companies to set Uber in or out of policy, and consolidate the booking data in reporting.
Egencia has also infused proprietary data-driven technologies to improve its customers’ travel programme performance. Unveiled today, the Egencia Travel Intelligence home page provides a summary overview of a customer’s travel programme, with key metrics and interactive graphs on travel spend, online adoption, supplier performance and programme compliance, and drill-down capabilities to near-real time transactional data. Customers also have access to a comprehensive view of a specific programme metric with detailed data and charts, key insights based on the data; including recommended actions to improve performance.
Egencia Delivers Breakthrough Air Shopping Experience
Egencia also announced the completion of a new air shopping experience for business travelers. This enhancement incorporates transparent access to multiple fares via the full availability of branded fares in a simple, easy-to-navigate air booking path.
Many airlines in the North American market have moved toward branded fares inclusive of ancillary services and other benefits. By providing access to multiple fare classes, Egencia moves beyond “one size fits all” air searching to an individualized approach for business travelers. Its platform will provide full fare access for the top airlines operating in North America.
Extensive research on user behavior has allowed Egencia to elegantly merge choice and selectability of airfare options in an efficient, easy-to-understand, booking flow. For travelers and arrangers, this refined experience will reduce the time needed to find and book fares inclusive of preferred benefits. The platform prominently displays the branded fare name, exchange and refund conditions, and key fare attributes, such as a free checked bag or accelerated boarding.
“Business travelers demand choice and clarity and our airline partners want to make sure their product offering and unique features are clearly labelled in the display,” said Mark Hollyhead, senior vice president, Egencia Americas. “Developing a solution for airline branded fares is another example where Egencia is leading the way in responding to the needs of the business travel market and letting customers vote with their clicks and the usage of our products.”
Built on a single global platform, the new air shopping experience is another demonstration of consumer-like user experience design, guided by deep insight of behavioral data.
Egencia will preview this technology in August of this year to select North American customers. The new air shopping experience will be widely available in the fall of 2016.