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Technology TTG Toolkit


Keeping a digital ethos on track


Voyages-sncf.com has been a digital-first company since 2000. What tips do you have for travel companies that need to reengineer themselves to become digital-first? Throughout our 16-year history, we have put innovation and adapting new technologies at the forefront of everything we do. This business model, based on an ability to innovate and constantly respond to changes in consumer habits, has seen Voyages-sncf.com become a leading online sales company not only in France, but throughout Europe – and the industry leader in e-tourism. As the business has grown, keeping the “start-up” philosophy is what makes us agile. We develop internal start-ups to innovate and create new features. Audacity and an open-mindedness towards innovation and adapting to change is what keeps us moving forward.


Has Voyages-sncf.com ever had to alter its digital strategy? Yes, throughout its entire existence! As hard as it is to believe, when the business was founded, social media barely existed, smartphones were in their infancy and tablets didn’t even exist. However, 60% of our audience now comes directly from mobile, with 18 million tickets sold on mobile alone in 2015. The backbone


to interact with customers in their own space and help them at any stage of their journey. The business has invested €10


million in developing innovative new digital services, to better personalize and improve the customer experience, in response to changing consumer behaviours and the use of digital, through mobile, social networks and the exploration of virtual reality and voice command technologies. We are currently working on


of our strategy has always been and continues to be, about evolving, innovating and adapting new technologies first, to boost customer service. As an example, as e-commerce is


now a part of consumers’ everyday lives, we recently launched in France – and soon to be deployed throughout Europe – a new customer relations channel using Facebook Messenger. This allows us


cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things, screen-less interfaces and smart fabrics. Also, we are experimenting with Amazon Echo on voice command and virtual reality to create a total immersive customer experience.


Does Voyages- sncf.com offer a mobile app? Across the European business, downloads of the Voyages-


sncf.com “V.” app have exceeded 13 million and sales via mobile have risen by 31% to 18 million tickets. The Mon Voyage online service


Ahead of talking at the Genesys Digital Transformation Summit at WTM London next month, Arnaud Masson (below), chief operations officer Europe at Voyages-sncf.com, talks to Matthew Parsons about the company’s ‘start-up’ philosophy and why mobile sales are poised to take off


has meanwhile been developed as a digital travel companion, with custom chrono-responsiveness throughout, allowing customers to manage their entire journey in one place. This means that as well as hosting all relevant travel information with access to e-tickets, it reacts in real-time to factors such as location and changes to travel further upstream.


How is the UK market performing? Last year in the UK, Voyages- sncf.com revenue was £71.6 million, up 7% year-on-year – meaning it is now the biggest single revenue generating country in the European business unit. We feel there is still a big opportunity in the UK, especially because booking cross-border travel can sometimes prove to be complex and confusing for consumers. Since 2000, the group has sold


600 million journeys and in 2015 generated revenue of €4.32 billion, up 3% year on year with 83 million tickets sold. Mobile penetration rate in Europe for the sale of train tickets online, by all distributors, is only currently 30%, which offers strong growth potential for Voyages- sncf.com and as an expert in the digital field we are perfectly positioned to increase our market share in this space. Arnaud Masson will be speaking at the Genesys Digital Transformation Summit at WTM London on Tuesday November 8, 10.30am-12.30pm in Platinum Suite 4


Voyages-sncf.com is the official European distribution channel of the French railways (SNCF) for online sales of rail travel throughout France and Europe. To find out more about how it works with the trade, go to agencies.voyages-sncf.eu


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