Selling Through Zaui Connect is the fifth part of the Ways to Sell series, exploring the different resell opportunities for operators to tap through Zaui and sell more of their tours and transport experiences.
If you’ve missed out on our previous posts, head over to the Ways to Sell Introduction, Ways to Sell through Agents, An Introduction to OTAs for Tour and Transport Operators and A Guide to Leading OTAs posts to get up to speed on the various sales channels you can leverage with a booking management system.
Cross-selling in the local marketplace is a tried-and-true sales strategy of tour and transport operators. Yet, for many operators, the complexities behind the manual process of reselling make it a tough-to-manage distribution channel.
Whenever operators place a booking through a partner operator, it involves many back and forth phone calls, from checking the availability to confirming the booking. Any cancellations or booking amendments in between will take away their valuable time for guest management.
Zaui Connect can replace this complex web of phone calls, emails, and payment calculation in a reseller partnership by automating operator-to-operator connections and save their time. And best of all, in the process, Zaui Connect helps operators build a local, strategic partnership to promote their business and increase the booking revenue.
Zaui Connect – A Quick Primer
Zaui Connect is a feature that automates cross-selling of tours and experiences between Zaui users. With the direct, real-time Zaui-to-Zaui connection, tour and transport operators can gain more exposure and bookings by supplying their activities to be resold through another local operator and fellow Zaui user.
The suppliers decide the rules of their relationship with each reseller, and through Zaui’s channel manager, they can open entire activities to chosen resellers as well as restrict inventory to others. It’s up to the Zaui users to decide the extent of connection they intend to have with others.
With a feature like Zaui Connect in play, it’s entirely possible to build a strong and effective network of local tour and transport operators, capable of automated peer-to-peer, or as we like to call it—Zaui to Zaui reselling.
For a full rundown, we’ve covered Zaui Connect extensively in our previous post here.
New to the concept of reselling? Head over to our blog Ways to Sell Your Tour and Transport Offerings on Zaui to learn more about reselling.
A Game Changer for Resell Partnerships
Imagine in-destination travellers looking to spend a day in a local area. The enthusiastic travellers building their itinerary value convenience. They’d be happy to book an exciting package for a day—a tour, attraction visit and activity, preferably all in one go at a special price.
Zaui Connect makes it possible for operators to attract these in-destination travellers by packaging their tours or activities with other local Zaui users and selling them online as special offers and combo packages.
Zaui Connect in Action: Supplier to Supplier
Take this scenario, cruise ship travellers have disembarked for the day and are here in our home base of Vancouver. They may have a few hours or even a day, and they would like to visit the surrounding areas. They want to take on some exciting in-destination activities, whether whale watching at Granville Island or Ziplining in Whistler.
Prior to their journey, the cruise ship travellers stumbled upon the Ziplining website, reviewed activities offered and found an adventure package inclusive of three different must-do activities (food walking tour, zipline tour and whale watching), bundled as one offering. As it is incredibly convenient and no-fuss, the guests will book this at once instead of diving through various suppliers’ sites to cobble together an itinerary.
From the backend, the suppliers that have partnered to resell and package are able to share their inventory and availability, all in real-time through Zaui Connect. It simplifies partnerships, reselling and provides all parties involved the extra exposure and boost in bookings.
Zaui Connect in Action: Supplier and Destination Marketing Organizations
Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO) are the go-to information place for travellers who want to explore the city. They promote the local tourism activities on their website, and in some cases, they have brick and mortar visitors centres and street teams in destinations.
By helping tourists find exciting things to do in the area, DMOs give operators more exposure and drive visitors to tour and transport operators.
Like the operator connection, an effective partnership with DMOs through Zaui Connect could get more guests for operators. DMO’s Visitor Centre staff and street teams can connect to the inventory and book guests for Zaui operators in the local area associated with them.
Continuing with the previous example—the cruise ship traveller who is docked for the day may approach an Information and Visitor Centre for recommendations or help with trip planning.
If the local tour operator is partnered with the DMO, the reservations team at the Visitor Centre can pull up and resell the next available tours and packages on behalf of the guest through the magic of Zaui Connect and Zaui Mobile.
In the same way the backend works for Zaui Connect with Suppliers, the Destination Marketing Organization can have the same access and capabilities to tap into local packages and activities for booking.
So, in no time, in-destination travellers can schedule their day with exciting adventures or tours without doing any legwork.
The concept of cross-selling is not new to many operators. But, the ease and convenience of building local, strategic partnerships are new to operators. Zaui Connect can make reselling hassle-free for operators, and here is how it is done.
Reselling is hard work—checking inventory and availability, confirming the booking, dealing with cancellation, processing payment, calculating commission and month-end reconciliations. The time-consuming back-to-back phone calls or emails between the supplier and reseller consume operators’ productive time. Zaui Connect automates these processes behind reselling, saving operators from the exhaustion of manual lifting and eliminating operational expenses.
By connecting the suppliers and resellers system, Zaui Connect updates the availability and booking status without a single phone call between the supplier and reseller. Even for booking amendments and cancellations, the Zaui users can rely on Zaui Connect to make the updates. In short, staff hours, otherwise spent on managing reseller bookings, can be effectively used to focus on your guests, giving them a memorable travel experience.
✅ Enables real-time updates with inventory control
Branching out the distribution channels is an effective strategy to increase booking and revenue, but chaos ensues if there isn’t a way to control activities or inventories for reselling. One of the advantages of using Zaui Connect is that it grants operators control of their inventory, so they can always keep track of how much they are selling by channel and what’s remaining.
Zaui Connect allows real-time product mapping between systems and automated inventory management, which means that whenever a reseller makes a booking, the supplier’s system will be updated, and that’s the case with cancellations too. As resellers know the real-time availability of suppliers’ products, they could book the offering without consulting the suppliers.
✅ Prevents overbooking
Operators may have stories to share about the headaches caused by overbooking when they’ve tried their initial hand at reselling. Relying on the phone for taking bookings often muddies the process a bit, and operators may end up reselling a spot or time that is not available, especially if they are still on traditional pen and paper bookings.
With Zaui Connect updating the booking system in real-time to minimize the risks of overbooking. If someone cancels the booking, the inventory automatically shows the latest availability for resellers, giving a chance for it to get filled without delay.
The Magic Behind Zaui Connect? The Channel Manager 🪄
By now, you know that Zaui Connect gives you firm control over your inventory while reselling, along with real-time product mapping and live inventory checks.
Then, it’s time to know more about Zaui Channel Manager— the tool that allows tour and transport operators to manage their reselling channels.
Using Zaui Connect, operators have the freedom to choose the services and products available to the resellers for booking. It is through the channel manager where they determine these rules and restrictions for Zaui-to-Zaui reselling.
Operators can decide the activities to be sold, cut-off times or when a guest can book or make edits to their booking pre-departure—all on the channel manager.
Operators can revisit the partner relationship through the channel manager, and if the sales performance is not what they expected, they can disable the reseller channel or redefine the rules of the partnership through the channel manager.
As the travel and tourism industry gets back on its feet, the local community needs to lean on each other. Strategic, local partnerships can be vital now for the tour, activity and transport community.
Tour and transport operators can leverage the power of the Zaui community for opportunities to cross-promote local partners and build a strong, local sales network.
If you are a Zaui user, connect with our Customer Success team to explore the possibilities of Zaui Connect to build your local partner network.
Not a Zaui user? We are happy to help you gain more bookings and boost revenue by offering different ways to sell on the Zaui system.