Gurugram-based MakeMyTrip is planning a host of changes and features to its existing app, including a landing page redesign and a section on new vacation destinations.
From being a primarily flight and hotel booking app, MakeMyTrip is rethinking its positioning in all types of travel — whether by road, train or air. It is also going to expand focus on the type of properties it lists on the platform.
In its alternative accommodation space, said Rajesh Magow, co-founder and group chief executive, MakeMyTrip, is looking at villas, service apartments and hostels, especially those based in pilgrimage sites, such as Varanasi. As of now, it has 17,000 such properties.
It is also going to raise the focus on premium and ultra-luxury properties, apart from the five-star hotels it already has on the platform. “Our sweet spot was the mid-segment and premium. The five stars will be there but the ultra-luxury kind of properties...we’re working on it,” said Magow.
According to Magow, MakeMyTrip has been a transaction site but now wishes to cater for the customer even before the latter begins planning a destination. “With the ‘Trip Ideas’ section, we are going one step before the funnel. The idea there is, when you start planning your trip, and you’ve come to transact on us, this is the guidance you need to start from. If you want to explore the destination, you can see recent trending destinations... You will have all the curated content and all the information (such as) points of interest, well presented, which will help you take a call on the destination,” he added. The fim is working on adding user-generated pictures and video content as well.
Another feature being worked on is Trip Assist. This will be like a chatbot, to help with various types of travel issues Eafter a customer makes a booking. “If you’ve done a flight booking, we will remind you just before your travel, through a push notification. We will start giving all the information, including the departure gate, if there is any change in the flight schedule, which means delays, etc, baggage details, giving you an opportunity to book a cab, your e-ticket. Then, as you reach there, we are trying to get the data on which belt you have your luggage on, and then airport transfer,” Magow said.
MakeMyTrip is also trying to tie up with airports, shopping centres and food joints to offer a deal on a food and beverage section. It already offers a visa-at-your-doorstep facility for Malaysia and Singapore and plans to expand that to other destinations. To ensure these changes reach the customers, it is going to change the design of its home page.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic effect, the company is on wait-and-watch but work is on to upgrade the app with better features. For now, MakeMyTrip app has widgets on safe travel, including protective measures against COVID-19, government updates on travel issues, and information on date changes and cancellations.
Last week, the company in a statement said: “We are seeing a demand slowdown for the coming summer holiday season, especially for international travel. The situation remains dynamic, making it hard to quantify the actual impact on our business and industry at large.”