Innovating beyond the NDC standard to achieve intelligent retailing

Empowering customer-focused, world-class retailing

Airlines can no longer differentiate by delivering the lowest price. They must transform into world-class retailers, giving the traveler the power to have choices about the experiences they are expecting. Today, it requires every facet of an organization to be customer focused. Retailing becomes intelligent when airlines can seamlessly provide a unique customer experience across the entire traveler journey, leveraging data and insights that don't just meet a customer's needs but exceeds their expectations.

Unified commercial planning

To understand intelligent retailing and how it’s achievable for airlines, it starts with unified commercial planning. For most airlines, the commercial-planning department is viewed as the “brains” of the business. It creates the strategies and is responsible for building the best schedules, the best availability options and the best prices. Traditionally, “best” has always meant the option that maximizes the most revenue. Moving forward, commercial departments must create a strategy that balances revenue AND has the unique target customer in mind.

Beyond NDC

IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) is an IATA-defined, data transmission standard that allows for enhanced communication between key players in the travel ecosystem. It is where a more personalized airline retail experience for travelers begins because it offers substantial opportunities such as product differentiation, time to market and shopping transparency. Alone, however, it is only a standard and doesn’t drive innovation. Airlines must consider how to differentiate product offerings at all touchpoints and think beyond NDC.

Technology innovation

The growing adoption of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, mobile, augmented reality, virtual reality and conversational commerce enable intelligent retailing and ensure rapid innovation and scale. In addition, airlines will need to take advantage of technology innovation around microservices and global cloud deployment, which create a open and flexible architecture and will ensure stability and security.


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