2020 has seen a sharp reduction in business travel. Nevertheless, travel both within Russia and to a handful of specific countries has continued. During this time, both medium and large-sized companies have been actively trying to find more efficient ways to organise their business travel. The 'Ozon Business Trips' service was launched to meet this growing demand.
As a rule, organising business trips in medium and large-sized companies falls to one of three groups of people: employees hired specifically for this task, contractors from travel agencies, or individual employees. In any case, this task often involves a lot of back-and-forth. In addition, having employees hired specifically for this task has not proven to be 100% effective, since the total number of business trips continues to decline. The ‘Ozon Business Trips’ service automates this whole process, applying best OTA platform practices from across the B2C industry and taking into account the specific needs of each company.
Employees can choose a range of services needed for their business trip. These include booking airplane and train tickets, making hotel reservations, arranging transportation and providing assistance in obtaining visas. At the same time, the system allows companies to set business travel tiers for its employees, and even set spending limits for them. Thanks to this system, companies no longer need to separately coordinate flight and hotel booking. You can complete transactions without additional approvals, and the service will send all relevant documents straight to your company, using its electronic document management system. Previously, organisers had to specifically request these documents from travel agents or airlines. Companies can either pay for their business trips at the time of booking, or at a later date by using the deferred payment function.
Ozon.Travel already partners with several small and medium-sized companies. The 'Ozon Business Trips' service, however, has taken into account the needs of larger businesses, such as the need for tiers of business travelers within a company, reporting features and document management. Ozon.Tarvel has been beta testing its service with Ozon, a part of Ozon Group.
"Ozon.Travel is in demand not only for private trips – around 10% of all tickets purchased on the site in 2020 involved corporate travel. This demand from the corporate sector has pushed us to think deeply about the specific needs of these types of customers. By launching this new service, we hope to provide companies with the opportunity to more efficiently organise their business trips. This is done by simplifying approval and reporting processes. We are also continuing to develop our existing services, which target small and medium-sized businesses. We are always trying to improve these existing products, which our clients know and love," said Michael Osin, CEO at Ozon.Travel.
At present, the service includes more than 800 airlines, Russian Railways, Alfa Insurance and a million of hotels. A tаxi service, visa assistance and airport business lounge booking are currently only available on request. The service is in beta-testing ahead of a full launch in 2021. The service is integrated with Amadeus, Sabra and Sirena-travel systems, as well as with a variety of airlines directly. It compares prices from this wide range of different systems and allows customers to choose the cheapest and most convenient options.