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Putting travelers first in shopping with Next Generation Storefront

20 February 2019
delta-blog

Gone are the days when airfare retailing was focused on persuading a customer to buy a one-size-fits-all ticket. Airlines have invested heavily in making travel more accessible by listening to customers and developing branded fare options that suit their diverse travel needs. But with product attributes varying both between and even within airlines, customers can feel overwhelmed. That’s why Delta is a huge supporter of the Next Generation Storefront initiative that brings clarity to airfare shopping by providing side-by-side, “apples-to-apples” comparisons across airline products in third-party shopping channels. This transparency and consistency is the hallmark of NGS that shows customers we’re listening. 

Making sure customers buy the product that’s right for them, in their channel of choice
The flight shopping experience has long been based on the idea that an airline seat is a commodity, instead of part of the overall travel experience. This means tickets are regularly displayed exclusively by price on outdated booking sites that don’t have the capacity to display the options airlines have thoughtfully developed. Customers wanting to purchase an alternative fare are forced to navigate through multiple screens on a flight-specific basis, losing all ability to compare options across multiple flights and carriers. This creates a very challenging experience that has fallen out of step with the needs of today’s consumer.

We all know online consumers look for a variety of features. The below graph, based on a survey by Namagoo, illustrates which elements U.S. online shoppers think are most important.

ATPCO NGS

None of this surprises us. At Delta, we see great results when customers shop directly in our channels where they can compare products side by side. But that’s not good enough – our customers deserve a great shopping experience in their channel of choice, including when shopping on third-party channels. 

The ability to create more transparency around our products for flight shoppers is something Delta has always been passionate about. It’s one reason we recently expanded our subscription with Routehappy to ensure our branding, using rich media content, helps facilitate customer choice and understanding.

Our partnership with ATPCO and Routehappy means we will be able to clearly and consistently showcase Delta’s unique and differentiated product and ticket attributes across third-party channels. 

Better shopping matters
Delta believes in the strength of our products, and finding the right fit for every traveler – even if it’s not with us – is essential in meeting customer expectations. 

We are encouraged that ATPCO has been joined by a variety of channel partners and airlines, small and large, low cost and full service, to capture every perspective for the benefit of travelers. The trials currently testing NGS in the real world will help improve NGS standardization with customer feedback. 

If you haven’t joined the forces with ATPCO yet, it’s time. Learn more, reach out to ATPCO, or jump straight in and sign up for the working group.

NGS is the next big thing in airline retailing.  Make sure you’re included in the transformation of the way the world shops for flights.
 

By Sharon Mickelson

Delta Air Lines

Sharon Mickelson has over 30 years industry experience and currently leads the distribution strategy of fares and rules worldwide for Delta Air Lines within Revenue Management. To support the fast-paced environment, her team spans the globe with locations in North America, Singapore, Amsterdam and India.