There are plenty of travel companies who like to draw flattering comparisons between themselves and Amazon but some seem to be taking the approach a little too literally.
European online travel agency eDreams Odigeo, which operates brands such as Opodo and Go Voyages, has been quietly testing a new subscription model over the past two years or so under the name “Prime”. The very same title Amazon uses for its paid-for membership service.
Questions over the choice of name aside, it’s interesting to see an online travel agency experimenting with new ways to boost customer loyalty. eDreams’ big plan is to move from a transactional business — the same model used by other online travel agencies — to something different.
When asked about the use of the Prime name a spokesperson for eDreams told Skift “The product was launched more than one year ago and trademarks were successfully registered at the time.”
In the online marketplace where price is the defining factor in any transaction, loyalty is a very rare commodity. A subscription model would give it a deeper relationship with certain customers.
“Prime is our subscription offering, which is a revolutionary product in the online travel sector. It gives us the ability to move away from an entirely transactional client relationship. In fact, not only do we expand the relationship to cover the customer’s entire travel life cycle, Prime also allows us to engage the customer more throughout their full travel journey,” said CEO Dana Dunne on an earnings call following the release of the company’s full-year results on Tuesday.
So far eDreams has conducted 25,000 interviews and 1,000 A/B tests and across its different brands and the new Prime offering reached around 300,000 subscribers within 18 months of launching. It has so far tested the product in a number of its markets with the annual subscription price ranging from $46 (€40) to $68 (€60).
For that members get discounts on flights throughout the year, a priority customer service telephone line and access to special promotions.
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