Wednesday 27 April 2016

Snapdeal enters air travel segment, after online food & bus ticketing

Snapdeal wants to be everywhere! Last month the company had partnered with online food-ordering platform Zomato and bus ticket booking firm Red Bus. Around the same time, it was believed that the marketplace has also collaborated with Cleartrip for hotel & flight booking.
Yesterday on 26th April 2016, the ecommerce biggie finally announced on Twitter that its app users could now book flight tickets online.

Eat, fly, travel via Snapdeal

According to this deal, the companies have integrated their application program interface (API) with Snapdeal. Post the successful integration, the etailer will display the respective icons (food, bus and air tickets) on their website as well as app.
As of now, all three services are available on Snapdeal’s app, but on the website, only online bus ticketing icon is visible.
A Cleartrip manager revealed,
“Snapdeal will have access to our flight inventory, and we will share a portion of our commission with them.”

Building an ecommerce eco-system

Online travel that includes hotel and ticket booking has the largest market share (87%) in the Indian ecommerce industry. Therefore, it seems wise that Snapdeal decided to dabble in this segment.
Venturing into finance, real estate, travel, food, logistics and other such sectors besides retail proves that Snapdeal is keen on setting up a sustainable ecommerce eco-system. The etailer want to look beyond GMV and invest in technology and other profitable arms.
However, some believe that their core focus area will always be its marketplace.
“Getting the inventory and the price is a commodity business… But these are mega malls with many buyers. For Snapdeal, travel will never be its main business, for us, it is,” said Ashish Kashyap of Redbus.

The lure of online travel

Online travel is crowded and tough market to crack, but the potential is huge. More so for marketplaces that already has huge buyers/visitors base. Ecommerce biggies have realized that without much investment, they can create an alternate and healthy source of revenue.
Paytm had entered the travel space last year with bus ticketing service. The Alibaba backed marketplace has now declared that it will soon offer road, rail, airline and tour bookings as well.
Abhishek Rajan, Head- Travel Marketplace at Paytm said,
“Our intention is to continuously add new travel categories to the platform and drive organic growth without making large marketing investments.”

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