Online Distribution Channels
Find out more about the types of online distribution channel. These are the tools that we can use for direct online distribution and you will also learn how to define your distribution channel using the online marketing plan.
Online Distribution Channels
One of the main purchasing channels for tourists”
In the tourism sector, online distribution is essential
– «One to one marketing».
– Customise travel products & services.
– Companies with specialised products and clients can access the global market.
– Development of new services.
– Always open: «24 hours / 7 days per week / 365 days».
– Improved corporate image.
– Cultural barriers: information, trust with payments, etc.
– Perceived complexity of purchases.
– Purchase is not a fun activity.
– Customer — Seller interactivity is not complete.
– No advice given.
Two types of online distribution channels in the tourism market
Tourism product (seller) Hoteles, rent a cars, eventos, atracciones turísticas: Hotels, rent a cars, events, tourism attractions
Direct Channel. The website is the shop window. The sales strategy is oriented towards:
– Increasing traffic on the website.
– Encourage the user to make a purchase.
Indirect Channel (retail agency, Tour Operators, etc.)
Direct online distribution. The essential tools to attract potential customers
Private financing: SEO, SEM, E-mail Marketing; Ads from affiliated networks; Viral Marketing; Guerrilla Marketing; Mobile Marketing; Social Media
Search Engine Optimisation
Most widely used Internet search engine: Google.
Search Engine Marketing
Situating our website among the “sponsored results”.
In search engines, the website appears highlighted in the right hand margin of the page and sometimes at the top of the natural results.
The advertiser pays when the user clicks on their link.
Most used: Google Adwords.
The information is sent out to a list of email contacts.
It is widely used.
To get good results and generate business, you need to:
1. Create a database of email addresses.
2.Prepare the email content well and then send it.
3.Follow up and track.
NEVER use mass mail advertising without the customer’s consent to receive such information.
“Affiliated networks adverts”:
Online advertising through a network of partners: affiliate’s websites or blogs.
Involved in this type of advertising: advertisers, affiliates, platforms (webpage, blog, user community, forum…) and commission agents.
“Word of mouth”.
Techniques for increasing the brand image of the company.
Very useful for companies that have low incomes.
The techniques are usually directed at specific market niches.
Most usual techniques:
Publishing of expert content.
Creating a blog.
Bluejacking: promotional messages via Bluetooth to PCs and mobile.
Active participation in Forums
Marketing through portable devices.
Sending SMS or MMS messages for specific promotional campaigns.
Advertising on mobile Apps.
Involves the use of social media as a channel to promote tourism.
Users generate their own contents on Facebook, You Tube, Twitter…
Define the distribution channels
“online marketing plan”. This document sets out the goals and strategies of the company in the digital environment.
Identify the target market — the audience that you are directing your tourism product or service at.
Specify the platforms or means you will use to reach this audience.
“Scope”: Define the main strategy variables that will define the presence of your company on the web: current situation, competitors, clients, objectives and strategies of the web presence.
“Site”: Define what your website should be like. It must be a fully customer-oriented website. Analyse the following factors:
From strategy “Attract the clients”: domain, design & positioning.
From strategy “Marketing Mix”: product strategy, price strategy, communication strategy & distribution strategy.
From strategy “Retain”: structure, velocity, navigability & interactivity.
“System”: Define the technical aspects of the website: software, hardware, communication protocols, content management, system maintenance, web administration and payment systems.
Integrate the offline and online strategies of your company.
Detail the pricing strategy that you will apply in each of the chosen distribution channels, both online and offline.