|Here's How We Do It At Scoot, says 'Chief Cash Cow'.|
By Yeoh Siew Hoon
Monday, 16th April 2012
Proving that customers are motived by low fares, Scoot, Singapore’s new low cost airline, sold 30,000 seats in less than a week after it announced S$88 fares for its launch flights to Sydney.
“We are an online retailer that just happens to sell flights,” said Scoot’s head of commercial, Steven Greenway (right), who spoke at the Google Thinktravel event in Singapore. “We want to sell a range of ancillaries on the most cost-effective channels.”
This thinking explains why the website will be the cornerstone of Scoot’s commercial strategy and why digital will be the cornerstone of its marketing. “We want to own the customer experience,” said Greenway, who described himself as “chief cash cow” at the Singapore Airlines-owned subsidiary.
He said digital has clear ROI (return on investment). It supports trial and price lead advertising, it uses the same platform cross-markets and “Google dominates so it’s reasonably simple”.
The question is, “will guest research through us or simply book through? Do I have to be everything to everyone or do I just have to have a super good booking engine?”
The booking engine which he described as “simple and fast” was built in four months. A good 90% of visitations go straight to the booking engine. “Do we need more? Do we need reviews? TripAdvisor already does that. We will become more functionally rich and possibly add maps and guides.”
Although it is a crowded bidders’ market in search, Greenway says search still delivered clear ROI. On meta-search flight sites such as Kayak, he said, “I think they’re only scratching the surface. They are interesting but expensive, more expensive than OTAs.
“Meta-search cannot survive without air content so there has to be a middle ground.”