A strategic shift by Travelzoo has been predominantly driven by the rise of mobile, the site’s EMEA president Richard Singer told last week’s Travel Distribution Summit.
Singer said evolving customer demands saw Travelzoo develop new channels over the years but that these had been siloed.
However, now the deals publisher has switched its model to handle transactions and allow clients to search for deals, rather than wait for them to be sent on email.
Travelzoo’s original model was acquiring clients through email and sending them their weekly Top 20 travel deals picked and validated by its in-house experts.
Singer said: “It was predominantly all about an email business. Now it’s how about how we grow our audience through our apps.
“The second part is how do we enhance our product. The tide has changed due to what customers are demanding to do.”
Singer said Travelzoo was balancing its inspiration approach with a more utilitarian approach in the knowledge its customers are booking product all the time.
“They want it when then want it, not just when we have it for them,” said Singer.
Travelzoo is seeing “huge growth” in customer acquisition through the likes of WhatsApp, while email is flat.
Singer said the future might be similar to what it is seeing in China where most people engage with the brand through ‘super app’ WeChat.
“It’s a question of how we can gain partnerships with other companies with large audiences,” he said.
Singer likened success in business and adapting to ensure you are ready for the future of travel supply and distribution to scaling Everest.
“Everyone should define what their Everest is. Do not look back, it’s all about looking up in terms of what’s the future. It’s all about taking risks.
“Learn from those who never actually make it and keep a close eye on those that are leading the race to the top and regularly assess if there are better or more efficient ways.
“It’s okay to take a step back to go forwards again.”