IATA NDC promises airlines greater differentiation by improving the way the offer reaches travel agents and TMCs. To enable this to happen, the airline directly connects to the indirect channel via a standardized IATA NDC API.
Like our customers who showcased their NDC journeys at World Passenger Symposium 2017, WestJet Airlines, Emirates, United Airlines, and the Lufthansa Group, the Farelogix team knows that a successful NDC-enabled strategy requires more than the latest version of the IATA NDC API.
In this article we outline a roadmap to an NDC program that will fast track your path to more revenue and make for delighted customers.
- Differentiate Your Offer
An IATA NDC API opens a communication channel between the airline and the agent, enabling your content-rich offers to stand out from those of your competitors. Working out how to make your offer more compelling to your customers is at the heart of success. What will make you stand apart for the ‘family of four’, the ‘business traveler’ or the ‘college student’? How will you adjust your offer in real-time based on any number of factors (e.g. buyer propensity, load factor, loyalty membership, or CRM data)? As you embrace new products, bundles and dynamic retailing strategies like dynamic pricing, you’ll likely need to collaborate with other departments, such as Revenue Management, Ancillary Management, Merchandising and Marketing.
- Invest in New Gen Offer Engines
Think about supercharging your retailing efforts with new generation Offer Engines. They give the airline full control over all elements of the offer, including merchandising, pricing, availability calculation, and connection building. They provide the freedom to create, distribute and dynamically optimize the offer through all channels. With the right technology investment, you’ll be able to turn an NDC API implementation into a powerful ‘Offer Management Platform’ for both the indirect and direct channel.
- Forge an API Consumer Strategy
At this stage, you’ll need to decide who’ll receive your offers by consuming your IATA NDC API. Some airlines focus on creating a ‘multiplier effect’. They connect to technology companies and aggregators that can readily extend access to multiple agencies through their existing relationships. Some airlines prefer to enter direct commercial relationships with large agencies, TMCs, OTAs or even GDS’. Getting your API consumer strategy in place pre-launch is crucial to achieving a rapid return on your investment.
- Launch Your NDC-aligned API
You'll need to make sure your NDC API aligns with the latest IATA standards inclusive of NDC-enabled Order and Offer management. Your API will need to be augmented with robust orchestration to reflect the workflows of your API Consumers. This overhead, along with keeping up with maturing NDC standards, should be factored into any 'build or buy' decision.
- Drive Adoption!
Once you can control, compelling, differentiated offers through an NDC-enabled pipe, you'll need to encourage tech providers, aggregators, agents and TMCs to use this rich-content to sell more. Investing in a comprehensive education and adoption program will pay dividends.
- Data-Driven Improvement
With a wealth of data flowing through your platform, there will be plenty of opportunity to discover what’s working and what’s under-performing - across all areas of your program. This data will help you refine and improve over time. After all, this is not just an API implementation, it’s a journey towards more revenue and happier customers.
Since 2012, Farelogix has been helping airlines benefit from implementing the NDC API. More than any other provider, we know how to maximize the value from an IATA NDC-enabled strategy while avoiding the pitfalls. If you'd like to discuss NDC best practices with the market-leaders, schedule a consultation with a member of our commercial team. Click the button below. For more on this topic read about the Farelogix Open Connect and NDC API solution.