30 Customers in 60 Days Part 3 – Digital Maturity and E-commerce

In this series, we have been exploring how travel companies, including our customers, have successfully adapted to the post-pandemic world. We have discussed the skill gap and the emergence of new demographics during this period of reconstruction.

These articles are based on the valuable input of numerous Nezasa customers whom I have personally met. Their insights have been instrumental in helping me and my team understand the market we are navigating.

In this third and final part of our series, I would like to share our customers’ unique perspectives on digital maturity and the apparent lag in the leisure travel market. We will also delve into the concept of revitalised e-commerce that better caters to the needs of modern users and explore the role of technology in supporting this transformation.

Read on to discover Part 3 of our “30 Customers in 60 Days” series, where we dive into digital maturity and e-commerce.

Digital Maturity

One significant challenge for the leisure travel industry has been the overall immaturity of the technology infrastructure compared to other sectors. Many companies are still grappling with the age-old dilemma of whether to buy or build their technology stack, a debate reminiscent of the CRM struggles of 15-20 years ago. Fortunately, we are now witnessing a shift towards the “buy” approach as the preferred solution for two key reasons.

Firstly, the available technology has significantly improved, offering robust options to meet diverse business needs. Secondly, many “build” projects either failed, proved too costly, or were unable to adapt to the rapidly changing requirements during the pandemic.

However, we cannot declare victory over homegrown tech stacks just yet. Considering that numerous travel agencies and tour operators have recently transitioned to the “buy” approach, they often lack experience in implementing new technology, driving adoption, and providing adequate support to end users. This lack of digital maturity poses a challenge.

Furthermore, this issue is not limited to travel agencies and tour operators alone. It also affects us as a company. Certain legacy software providers integrated into the travel tech stack, such as Nezasa, still lack the agility and advancement required. For instance, most hotel content is sent in non-standard formats as plain text, which hampers the end-customer’s ability to innovate as they are unable to compare the amenities at different hotels because that data is non-standard.

Improve digital maturity

Travel agencies and tour operators implementing new technology must devise a plan that includes supporting and training end users. This involves designating a super user and establishing an internal support function. While this incurs costs, customers with multiple brands have found success by adopting a central shared services model that benefits all end users across brands. However, the team’s efforts should not be solely reactive; investing in a knowledge base with video recordings and FAQs, hosting refresher “lunch and learn” sessions, and effectively communicating new features through customised release notes can drive system adoption and enhance end-user satisfaction.

Travel tech vendors also play a crucial role. They must tailor their approach based on the digital maturity of their customers and be proactive in their engagement. Instead of asking, “What do you want to implement?”, vendors should strive to understand the problems their customers are trying to solve and provide relevant solutions. This shift in approach from “What do you want?” to “I understand your challenges, and here’s what you need” is essential.


The leisure travel booking process is flawed as it was built upon a business travel model that assumes fixed destinations and travel dates. Even worse, all purchasing journeys are linear, where customers book a flight, then a hotel, and then activities. If the same approach were adopted in online shopping, customers would have to buy jeans, proceed to checkout, purchase a shirt, proceed to checkout, and repeat the process.

It is time for technology providers to really rethink how leisure travel booking is done.  In our view of the world, good travel technology should allow end customers or travel agents to create a trip, add all items to the basket, and checkout – it should be that simple.

Take Shopify – they have different modules that allow users to create a storefront, collect payments, market to customers in a CRM, fulfil items in a basket, and monitor the success of your business in a simple dashboard.  Why should your leisure travel tech stack look any different?  We should think about our industry as e-commerce that happens to sell tours.

Our Solutions

Packaging drives better margins: Packaging, when supported by the right technology, can significantly increase margins and enhance cost control. It offers a continuous growth trajectory without requiring manual intervention and realises the e-commerce vision described above.

Affiliate marketing: This “low-cost” initiative directly impacts revenue, increases brand awareness, and enables effective data tracking. Affiliate marketing has emerged as one of the major post-pandemic trends, greatly benefiting thousands of travel brands.  Allowing a travel blogger to post a link on their blog so the reader can go book the whole trip in one basket should be much easier than it is today.

Leveraging online shopping metrics: Data should drive the development of offerings, and valuable insights can often be found within metrics that reveal ideal customer behaviours.

Thank you for reading our stories!

Thank you so much for being part of this journey and I hope you got the best insights on our industry from our customers’ perspective. In case you missed it, here are chapters 1 and 2 of this series. 

In the meantime, feel free to explore Nezasa’s Blog for the latest updates on our products and the travel tech industry!

Posted By

Alex Farmer