Thomas Cook India Limited (TCIL) has adopted a multi-channel strategy, which will help it attract more customers and sell more services.
TCIL engages customers online before seamlessly transferring them to its physical stores
The company has successfully targeted both online and offline channels. One of TCIL’s key strategies is to capitalise on its offline presence and branch networks. This is TCIL’s primary competency and a significant contribution to sales and profits.
However, rather than making this its sole focus, the company uses the online channel to supplement its offline businesses. For example, many of its customers use the internet to book travel packages, and then the company offers them the chance to visit its stores for other value-added services like forex, insurance, and visa application support.
TCIL first engages customers online, before seamlessly transferring them to its physical stores for these additional services. Simultaneously, those seeking a store to book their holiday can benefit from TCIL’s services in one place. This multi-channel approach will see both internet traction and its bricks and mortar business grow. Customers who have previously interacted with TCIL will continue to do so to avoid visiting different agents for different services.
TCIL benefits from an already-established store network
The company already has a positive reputation in India and is a leading travel service provider for both B2B and B2C clients. Its presence via physical stores is important as some consumers still book holidays through this channel. According to a GlobalData Consumer Survey conducted in Q4 2021, when asked “Which of the following did you use the last time you booked a holiday?” 25% of Indian respondents said they used an online service provider for their vacation booking.
TCIL is well established online so can cater for this preference. It is also well-placed to attract customers who prefer to book in person by visiting its physical stores. The proportion of people booking through this offline channel is 5% in India, compared to 7% globally. If the company successfully entices these offline travellers, then it could capture a good share of this 5%.
Competitors are playing catch up
Major competitor MakeMyTrip has also shown interest in targeting offline travellers by opening a store in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, but players like this are playing catch up thanks to TCIL’s already-established 160+ store network. TCIL does face some challenges. The company still lacks a marketing strategy to rival that of MakeMyTrip, which makes it a little less known. TCIL must tackle this challenge and must act soon to make sure that it remains at the top of the Indian travel industry in the future.