Getting smart with online ticket booking

It is an old post written in 2018. During this pandemic, it becomes new normal. Except for data, the rest still apply.

Online Ticket Booking - an overview


Great deals and stealing prices are everywhere and remarkably in online ticket booking platforms.

“Do you remember when you have walked out of your home to book a ticket?”

The days were gone, with the amelioration in technology, everything has changed our ways of working so do in ticket booking as well. Today, with easy internet access and with digital wallets, you can finalise your travel plans or movie tickets or a holiday package within minutes. Nowadays people are not having patience; they are app-centric and app-driven. They demand things with a click of a button. 

In the online ticket booking industry, the travel industry takes the majority of the share followed by the hotel, railways and then other industries like movie tickets etc. Paytm data shows that more than 70% of all train tickets booked on Paytm over the past year is from Tier-II and Tier-III cities, a clear sign of digital transaction growth in non-metros after demonetisation. And, Paytm has witnessed aggressive growth in travel with more than 10 million tickets sold in FY’17.

In the hotel industry, 78% of online booking is from OTA such as MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Yatra, which witness a $2.3 billion opportunity for such businesses, a Deutsche Bank report said. According to the report, gross hotel bookings, from $7.2 billion in 2016, are expected to grow by $10.9 billion by 2020. 

When we talk about the number of online travel sales & revenue generated by them, studies suggest substantial growth worldwide. Particularly, in the Asia Pacific region primarily India, China, & Southeast Asia, the growth will be manifold; the report says. The reason behind this exponential growth is the rapidly growing internet penetration in these regions and opens a huge virgin market for online ticket booking marketplaces.

After the launch of JIO in India, the penetration of mobile internet has gradually acquired a major market share in the online sector. A mobile app like Redbus, Make My Trip, IRCTC, Book My Show, Ticket New and many more have taken a mandate space on our mobile phones. Also in emerging markets like India & China, where internet penetration is primarily driven by mobile internet, the mobile share growth rate would be greater. Being in the mobile application development and testing industry our focus is more on customers centric, and developing the top quality application using new technologies.

In countries like China, online ticketing contributes to as high as 80% of overall ticket booking. Comparing it, India has a very little contribution, however, it will grow much higher in the coming years. Overall Indians spend a good time while buying an air ticket online and as mentioned earlier approximately 60% of travel reservations are made over the internet, while 70-80% of customers use smartphones to reserve hotels, tours, etc.

“Why online ticket booking become so popular and become an integral part of our daily life?”

24/7 Reservation

No one wants to take time from work or travel to book a ticket and you can book a ticket anytime, anywhere. Different studies show that mobile booking behaviour is inclined towards last minute booking. Many a time I have booked bus tickets while travelling in a cab to silk board (Bengaluru) to catch a bus to Chennai, highly flexible and more convenient even at the last minute. 

Compare the Price and Book (Discounts & Offers)

You get lots of discounts and coupon codes which help you save money. It is very common that before you decide on travel and room booking we tend to check across various online destinations and check availability and compare prices across different service providers. Before booking online I never missed to call the shortlisted hotel directly and ask them their best fit price. And surprisingly I end up booking rooms online as the listed hotel refuse to offer or match the online price and they recommend booking online. 

Also, the research finds that consumers use a mix of online and offline sources of information during their booking journeys. However, approximately 60% of the people prefer online channels over offline sources and the majority of the people find online booking more convenient.

Save Your Time & Make Your Choice

With a click of the mouse or swipe of a phone, you’ll have all your plans finalised, and it is so convenient. Even change or cancellation of the plan is made easy as many online service providers offer no cancellation policy. You also choose the seat of your choice whether it is travel or a movie ticket. My comfort and preference become my first choice. 

However, approximately 60% of the people prefer online channels over offline sources and the majority of the people find online booking more convenient 

Personalised Promo

Recently more personalised services being offered by online service providers. They send promo emails based on our travel history and even remind us to plan a trip if there is any upcoming long vacation. Most of our clients ask for a personalised offer promo engine to be implemented on their application to treat their customers with the best personalised exclusive offer to surprise them.

I can envisage with increasing internet and smartphone penetration, more people are realising the convenience of online ticket booking and the overall market share for online transactions to grow multifold, allowing players to grow considerably faster in their industry. On the other side, there are few challenges as well. Besides being strong in technology, a company has to have extensive relationships with service providers. Only those who are strong online and offline presence are set to survive and grow in the long run. 

Courtesy: Silicon India Magazine. (Reposting the article published in Silicon India Magazine June 2018 Edition.)

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