As a rising generation of global flight ticket seller and fulfillment service provider, Unififi Group has weathered the challenges posed by the pandemic and now embracing broader clienteles. Ms. Afra Wang, Unififi Group’s Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer shared valuable insights into the dynamics of B2B travel distribution during the Travel Daily Summit 2023 held last month in Shanghai. Ms. Wang also elaborated on the unique advantages of Unififi Cloud, their core product for intelligent global flight ticket distribution, and their vision for the future of travel distribution.
1. Market Trends in B2B Travel Distribution
Question: Some say that consumer internet (B2C) has reached saturation, while industrial internet (B2B) is on the rise. Do you agree with this perspective? How do you view the market size and future growth opportunities for B2B in travel industry?
Afra: We have full confidence in the prospects of the rapidly recovering global B2B market, especially in assisting regional suppliers to enter international markets. As globalization advances, more and more businesses will seek international partnerships. With the evolution of the market and technology, previous barriers are rapidly disappearing. Additionally, the potential of features like multi-language support, global payment solutions, and AI customer service cannot be underestimated in helping businesses expand their international operations.
2. Company Business Model and Value Proposition
Question: What is your company's business model? What value do you provide to your customers? Could you provide some examples?
Afra: UNIFIFI is a technology-driven global flight ticket seller, aggregator, and fulfillment service provider. While the market is not lacking in ticket suppliers, many travel merchants still face real pain points especially low efficiency in shopping & post-sales services, often due to numerous intermediate steps in the supply chain, coupled with "resource barriers" often involving different time zones and languages. To address this pain point, we integrate global ticket supply to allow merchant customers to reach us anytime and solve problems with hyper-efficiently.
Another example, in terms of post-sales and pre-departure, we offer a robust risk control system that ensures that customers are informed about flight changes, and our system automatically verifies ticket statuses, with human intervention in case of anomalies, to help travel merchants better manage and serve their customers. Normally most of the merchant customers lack the tools or manpower to handle this. We see our value in empowering them to provide such services to their end customers, thus increasing their product stickiness with us. Other similar empowerment features are also in development, such as insight tools and frequent flyer management, all aimed at helping travel businesses better serve their end customers continuously.
We continually create value and gain recognition from our clients and partners by meticulously addressing the challenges within the airline and travel industry related to ticket distribution, supply, and customer service.
3. Technological Innovations and Value in the B2B Travel Industry
Question: From the perspective of the entire industry, what B2B technological innovations are happening in the travel industry? How do you view the value of technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence in travel distribution? Has the landscape of travel distribution changed?
Afra: From the perspective of the flight ticket supply chain, distribution is becoming more diverse. Led by IATA, Airlines have introduced NDC/ARM - the content become more diverse, more possible ancillary products, and continuous pricing and convenient payment have become more normal as the industry gets modernized…. In the payment field, B2B markets are also innovating to improve the efficiency of receipts and payments. Artificial intelligence is expected to improve the precision of customer demand and may provide more suitable solutions to customers in less time, thus reducing labor costs. With the introduction of new technology, the barriers to entry for travel distribution will be lowered, and the market will become more diverse. Cross-domain collaborations like content platforms will also change the landscape of travel distribution. In short, technological innovation is driving the travel market towards intelligence and personalization. Successful companies will be those that can adapt to these changes, embrace transformation, and create value.
4. Challenges and Key Success Factors in B2B Travel
Question: What are the biggest challenges currently faced by B2B travel? In your opinion, what are the key success factors for B2B travel companies?
Afra Wang: The main challenge lies in whether one can view this industry with a long-term perspective, dare to innovate, and strike a balance between short and long-term goals. Technology investments may not yield rapid returns in the short term, but in the long run, service development can enhance customer satisfaction, increase customer loyalty, and identify profitable points in more niche areas.
Travel’s nature determines the essential synergy of intelligent and human services, offering efficiency and warmth, which is paramount for enhancing customer satisfaction, making both approaches indispensable in empowering our clients to serve their customers effectively.
About Unififi Group:
Unififi Group is an independent tech-driven flight ticket seller & consolidator offering competitive B2B content & hyper-efficient flight ticketing services for travel merchants of all sizes, including OTAs, booking engines, and travel agencies.
Launched in 2019, the industry-leading solution Unififi Cloud provides robust and competitive flight content. Its inventory is dynamically aggregated across multiple GDSs, 30+ NDC, and API direct airline connections into one single interface. With Unififi Cloud APIConnect, AgentConnect and GroupFares solutions, travel merchants can benefit from the hyper-efficient real-time flight shopping experience, especially realizing one-stop searching, booking, ticketing, ancillary shopping, and post-booking services with live agent support 24/7/365.
Unififi Group has nine subsidiaries in four continents, including Düsseldorf, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Sydney, New York, Los Angeles, and Osaka. It has IATA & ARC accreditations and NDC / ARM Index Seller qualifications.
Learn more about Unififi Group: https://business.unififi.com/