All sectors combined, online sales have grown considerably in recent years and will reach nearly 100 billion euros in 2019 (92.6 billion in 2018) according to FEVADFédération du E-commerce et des Ventes à Distance. Indeed, in just ten years, Internet sales have grown exponentially by 675%.

38.8 million French people now buy online, including 13.8 million on mobile phones. This represents 87.5% of Internet users.

While the average amount of a transaction is falling and stands at 61.5 euros, the number of transactions per buyer is constantly increasing. There were 39 transactions on average online and 2,420 euros spent (+11% vs. 2017) per buyer in 2018.1

According to the survey carried out by Médiamétrie at the beginning of the year, nearly three out of four Internet users have bought, ordered or booked a tourism-related service online, making the Internet the leading mode of travel purchasing. To prepare their holidays, more than 65% of French people have used the Internet, using either online sites specialising in service providers for nearby destinations, or travel agencies or incoming agencies for more distant destinations.

The development of online tourism has changed the chain of tourism players that used to separate service providers (airlines, hoteliers, car rental companies, etc.) and travel producers (incoming agencies) on the one hand, and distributors (travel agencies) on the other. By facilitating on-line distribution, the Internet has enabled producers to develop and modify their own distribution channels, which can now be in direct contact with the customer. The latter are tending to diversify as the online market for these players is so coveted today.

What developments are these agencies heading towards and how are they diversifying?

The quality factor is the basis of any service provision. Customers are increasingly demanding and informed and are looking for the best offer that corresponds to their needs. It is therefore an everyday struggle to try to satisfy them and build loyalty while respecting the economic and social objectives of the agency. Thus, in order to achieve the best performance and to be able to compete with an increasingly fierce competition ready to do anything to win market share, each agency must find the most interesting competitive advantage to acquire and develop within its structure.

This is why incoming agencies and Mice (meeting incentive conference event) agencies are increasingly relying on a strategy of high-end development, luxury tourism and Mice business tourism.

Indeed, luxury and Mice have gradually become part of the tourism field, responding to the needs and expectations of consumers and companies, namely a strong personalization of offers, the idea of benefiting from personal and intangible experiences and an excellent quality of services. Through these characteristics, the receptives have been able to compete.

Faced with the increasing power of the Internet in the tourism sector, the new challenges facing these agencies and the new actions they have to implement are pushing them to equip themselves with the digital solutions of tomorrow.

Incoming agencies, the Mice agencies, now have the opportunity to work on an equal footing with the major tourism operators, and great opportunities are opening up to them.

Ezus.io (ex-Esus) intends to accelerate the arrival of these opportunities.

Sources – 1. https://www.fevad.com/la-croissance-du-e-commerce-se-maintient-au-1er-trimestre-2019-119