APEX Insight: Routehappy Hub and Farelogix’s FLX Merchandise are joining forces to deliver integrated platforms that will enable airlines to more effectively and dynamically merchandise their flights, differentiate their products and make offers across a variety of channels – worldwide and in any language. The platforms will combine Farelogix’s dynamic pricing and Routehappy’s rich content to create a more informative flight-booking experience.
Farelogix specializes in cross-channel merchandizing, as well as in providing NDC-implementation tools to airlines. These tools put airlines in the pilot’s seat regarding pricing and special offers, rather than punting those roles to the global distribution system (GDS) layer of the airline-industry ecosystem. Routehappy began as a sort of Yelp for airline seats and has since pivoted into the B2B space, partnering with airlines and booking platforms to offer end users a sort of PaxEx search engine.
“Routehappy and Farelogix both provide technology that enables airlines to shift away from the commoditized, one-size-fits-all approach that was commonplace in the airline industry prior to NDC [New Distribution Capability, the IATA standard for modern airline-travel sales and marketing],” said Farelogix CEO Jim Davidson.
Here’s how Routehappy and Farelogix will work together, according to Davidson and Routehappy CEO Robert Albert: FLX Merchandise will help an airline create a product or service offer and set the right price for the customer. Routehappy will then jump in to supply the marketing information, which the customer will experience as UPAs (Universal Product Attributes) that are as searchable as dates or prices. “If an airline is displaying a nice photo of an extra legroom seat with a certain description, that particular product will have consistent attributes being applied on all offers,” said Davidson.
“Successful merchandisers know that content is king.” – Robert Albert, Routehappy
“Successful merchandisers know that content is king. Relevant content that makes a practical and emotional connection with consumers maximizes conversion and yield. Integration of Farelogix and Routehappy’s respective platforms will make each more useful to our mutual airline and distributor customers, in turn benefiting travelers, who will receive more differentiated and compelling product offerings and related rich content,” added Albert.
The Dawn of a New Era in Airline Merchandising
Airlines must increasingly compete on factors beyond price, and those factors can indeed be measured. Legroom, Wi-Fi, snacks, decent coffee – these are all data points, and data points can be collected, searched and displayed.
Focusing on selling the seat as a commodity alone is not only played out, but also bad, said Albert. Davidson noted that an airline can – and does – offer an array of products along with that seat. Routehappy and Farelogix are making those offers more visible and accessible to the increasingly savvy traveler.
“We are now moving away from generic merchandising into another era of more compelling merchandising.” – Robert Albert, Routehappy
“We are now moving away from generic merchandising into another era of more compelling merchandising,” said Albert. “The customer will have access to previously unseen merchandising content that will help them buy the airline product that meets their individual needs. With Farelogix’s dynamic pricing and Routehappy’s rich content, like imagery, videos and descriptions, the customer will have a more informative and richer flight-booking experience.” Such rich search results are great news for the traveler, but airlines will have to work hard to ensure that they provide the goods.