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Informed by decision science, Sabre NDC initiatives fuel competitive differentiation

The NDC standard was created by IATA to help airlines differentiate their product offerings, so consumers are served the same brand experience in indirect channels as they would be if they went direct to the airline’s individual website.

It’s a simple – albeit disruptive — idea motivating enormous investment across the industry by airlines and their partners. For the market to create return on that investment, the individual consumer will have to experience real, personal benefit.

These consumers are used to being driven by powerful disruptors to adopt – or reject (think Google Glass) — new behaviours around technology more and more quickly. Today, Expedia is coming up on its 20th birthday, and Airbnb and Uber are almost 10 years old.

At the heart of their success? The ability to book online with a differentiated product. Because, at the end of the day, we know it is all about bringing one, single consumer together with a personalized retail experience.

Successful retailers understand the key to delivering these curated experiences lies in catering to distinct buying personas. Creating this level of segmentation has added complexity – and opportunity — to our industry’s business. This requires a robust data-sciences approach to maximize individual consumer engagement as well as end-to-end profitability.

That’s why Sabre is going Beyond NDC in our approach to deploying new solutions against this standard.

Clearly, with the evolution to 1:1 retailing, the airline industry is ripe for positive disruption. And the travelling consumer is more than ready. So are we.

Our data scientists are experts in insight and prediction; wrangling outrageously large data sets. Data sets that are growing exponentially as airlines not only merchandise seats, but seat and ancillary bundles to drive incremental revenue. Using customer-choice modelling that layers consumer behaviour and historic trend data, we can help better target offers by distinct segment and predict future demand.

We are bringing much more into the set of options consumers will be able to choose from – through NDC and traditional channels. Our deep analytics around shopping and market data make it possible to dynamically price and create smart offers considering three factors: (1) an airline’s strategy, (2) the consumer’s preferences and willingness to pay and (3) the market context.

This is exactly what our industry-first Dynamic Pricing solutions are all about. Sergey Shebalov, Senior Director of Operations Research shared, “These solutions give airlines real-time access to data to proactively sense and respond to market dynamics. They provide key inputs into the offer management platform and an airline’s end-to-end retailing ecosystem.”

Our Beyond NDC initiatives enable Sabre to work with airline customers to help them up the ante on competitive differentiation; to create rich personas and market-based offers; micro-segmented offers using even richer data and competitive feedback loops.

Our data sciences practice thinks about the end-to-end travel experience, parsing customer data throughout the trip. Sergey added, “We build decision-support systems that serve as recommendations engines. Our products are automated, precise and generate optimal solutions.”

At Sabre, we know the magic of AI and machine learning is its ability to discover billions of data points and patterns that return astonishing results. Intelligent recommenders improve with every interaction, learning more about what is important to each shopper. In turn, making increasingly more accurate offers means the likelihood of converting lookers into bookers increases. Personalized recommendations also act as a filter to help shoppers quickly get to the offer they want and away from products they don’t.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning approaches are already helping airline retailing to be smarter and will open even more opportunities in the future for providing an optimal total-trip experience.

Learn more about Sabre’s strategy and investments beyond NDC to deliver next-generation retailing and distribution solutions.