Custom Tour Booking Software for Expedia
- Powerful web platform covering every aspect of the traveling industry
- Consistent user experience across various travel services on PCs and mobile devices
- Effortless platform management coupled with solid security and built-in analytics
Expedia partnered with Iflexion to rebuild their core travel booking software: step up with the online customer service, extend functionality, and facilitate the management of multiple brands.
Expedia Group is an international travel technology company that consolidates world-known travel brands, such as Hotels.com, Carrentals.com, and Bedandbreakfast.com. Expedia runs over 200 travel booking sites in 75 countries and has 20,000+ employees on board. As of Q3 2018, Expedia reported $97.5 billion in gross bookings and $11 billion in revenue.
Brands that made part of the Expedia Affiliate Network used a uniform customizable template to offer their services. With the growing number of partners joining the Expedia network, it became difficult to adapt a stiff template to specific offerings of each brand. The customer-facing part also became outdated and couldn’t cover the growing needs of end users. Moreover, new companies entered the market with more attractive online services, which could shatter the Expedia’s robust reputation.
To put their offering quality back on rails and to withstand the intensifying competition, Expedia decided to go for a complete rework of their existing solution. The project was to cover such activities as rebuilding the obsolete templates, rethinking their customization logic, and extending the solution’s functionality to make it more appealing to brands and end customers. The company also wanted to implement built-in analytics to have aggregated data across all Expedia resources, which would make the network operation more transparent and controllable.
Experienced in end-to-end custom software development, Iflexion stepped in to address the outlined challenges and help Expedia regain their competitive strength.
To understand the full scope of the project, Iflexion started with an in-depth analysis of the legacy solution’s architecture and code. The analysis showed that the current solution’s logic was too complex and couldn’t enable the required level of functional flexibility. Iflexion offered to rebuild the solution according to the service-oriented architecture (SOA) principles. The SOA-based software solutions have multiple advantages over monolithic apps, particularly in terms of customization, security, and management capabilities, which are critical characteristics Expedia was looking for.
The solution’s code review showed various issues affecting the operation of the existing templates and made their further transformation problematic. That’s why Iflexion’s development team rewrote a substantial part of the legacy code to eliminate the revealed flaws and prepare a reliable basis for new templates.
The rebuilt solution now includes two essential parts:
- Customizable internal-facing portal for partners
- Customer-facing web portal for consumers
As two parts fulfill different functions, each of them got an individual design and feature set.
The internal portal provides flexible templates for brands to customize them according to their service specifics: accommodation booking, flights, events, car rental, etc. Brands have a wide choice of features to demonstrate and promote their offering by adopting ready-to-use features from Expedia’s templates or by seamlessly integrating their solutions with the Expedia platform.
- Diversified content management features
- Geolocation features
- Advertising capabilities (including promoted content, dynamic ads, sales, discounts, and rewards)
- Booking modules with customizable parameters
- Integration with payment service providers
- Built-in rating features
- Customer feedback forms
- Interactive maps and location schemes
- Integration of ready-made websites and portals with the Expedia platform via RESTful API
- Ongoing brand support provided by a professional technical and account management team
Apart from the core features, all partners also have access to the portal analytics module. This new functionality enabled brand representatives to get the stats on their services, track customer activities, assess the effectiveness of ads campaigns and bonus programs, and timely reveal unpopular offerings to replace them with better deals.
The customer-facing part of the tour booking software represents a fully functional web portal for users to manage their holiday activities, business trips, and entertainment. By creating their personal accounts on the portal, users can choose the most suitable service or product provider and offering. The registered users can either choose the needed services separately or get them in pre-formed packages.
- Transparent booking and cancellation mechanism
- Detailed booking history
- Automatic notifications on new attractive offerings in the selected categories
- Rich filtering and sorting options, parameter-based search
- Engaging guides and recommendations based on preset preferences
- Built-in rating and feedback for users to evaluate the service/product quality
- Reward deals, bonus, and savings programs for regular customers
- Secure online payments
The new solution is easy to localize and is currently available in more than 40 languages, which ensures a consistent experience for users from different parts of the world.
Despite the overall complexity of the project dictated by the wide scope of tasks and collaboration with geographically distributed teams, Iflexion delivered the revamped tour booking software in under a year. Within the project, Iflexion’s team helped the Customer achieve a number of critical goals:
- Improving the solution’s architecture along with ensuring its better customization flexibility, improved performance, and stronger security.
- Redesigning legacy templates to make the portal more appealing to end users and partners.
- Setting up a uniform booking process across different services.
- Replacing the rigid features of legacy templates with customizable modular functionality.
- Enhancing the solution’s overall performance, particularly the templates’ loading time.
- Setting up the process of a smooth migration from legacy to redesigned templates.
- Ensuring the solution’s scalability and ability to provide over 10,000 brands with the required functionality.
- Guaranteeing a consistent user experience of both the desktop and mobile applications.
Iflexion equipped a branded café of an automotive company with interactive panels for instant order processing, guest entertainment, and a deeper brand engagement.