“National Express East Coast’s website won my business because of the infinitely more flexible site design, and the ability to immediately find the cheapest possible tickets.” Website user|
Atos and National Express created the first-ever online retail sales channel directly controlled by a UK rail operator.
- For rail operators, effective revenue management is not just about filling seats or selling the cheapest tickets. The main objective is to give passengers informed choices, including options to ‘trade up’ their tickets, with a service that is simple, fast and available whenever needed.
- The project was a bold and decisive move. Breaking the single ticket supplier monopoly meant challenging deadlines for the site to be up and running on time to avoid exposure to higher costs in the future.
- Atos led a joint team to design and develop the new website from scratch, integrating a ticket booking engine and incorporating data management and reporting mechanisms. In the process, every part of the travel cycle and lifecycle had to be ‘reinvented’ and the site also needed to deliver the right business processes to support ticket sales and options, fulfilment and customer service, all based on an analysis of work flow and case histories.
This monopoly-breaking initiative made ticket price comparison and purchasing much easier for passengers, reduced the cost of ticket sales for National Express and established an electronic retail trading platform to exploit emerging technologies such as self-print tickets and communications with mobile phones.
Since its launch other operators have recognised the benefits and are investing in retail channels.
Some key indicators of success:
- Revenue was over 30% up on the previous year
- 22% of all National Express ticket revenue was online, making the website its biggest sales
- channel, with 50% of all advance-purchase tickets bought online
- Yield increased because users were choosing to ‘trade up’ to more expensive tickets
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