SideStep is launching into the UK market to enable consumers to compare prices across the whole travel industry. The site will offer significant benefits to the travel industry, giving partners the chance to acquire valuable customers and significantly reduce their cost of sales.
SideStep has already forged alliances with 600 airlines, 125,000 hotels and 30,000 car rental locations worldwide. These include British Airways, Continental Airlines, United Airlines, EasyJet, Hyatt Corporation, eBookers and Holiday Auto. Last year, SideStep generated more than $1 billion in business for its travel provider partners in the US and is looking to replicate this success in the UK and European markets.
SideStep provides the consumer with a comprehensive view of travel offerings. Previously consumers have only been able to compare a small selection of availability. For example, some travel sites only search scheduled flights and not charter flights; whilst other websites only highlight a small selection of what is truly available. Furthermore, when the consumer has found the flight, hotel or car they want to book, SideStep passes them over to book direct with that airline, hotel or car rental supplier, meaning they can still take advantage of frequent flyer miles and other incentives they offer.
The other unique feature that sets SideStep apart from any other website is the SideStep Toolbar, a downloadable toolbar that facilitates travel comparison shopping. By displaying SideStep’s travel options side-by-side with those from other sites, the SideStep toolbar helps consumers feel confident that they’ve found the web’s best travel bargains.
In addition to the most comprehensive search facility in the market, SideStep is a real traveller’s companion, with Travel Guides for over 1200 of the world’s most popular travel destinations. They offer an array of information from sports events and activities to day trips and “must see” highlights as well as the facility to book tickets and tours through the site’s “Activities” tab.
SideStep are also working with key partners to integrate SideStep flight, hotel and car products into their websites. These relationships will be announced in the near future.
Kevin Eyres, Managing Director, SideStep Europe comments: “There has been a phenomenal boom in the online travel sector with travel accounting for 40% of ecommerce sales. The introduction of SideStep into the UK market means that travellers can be certain they have found the best deals available.”
He continues: “Travel Search is the future for the sector and SideStep has already proved it can drive business significantly for its travel partners by directing large numbers of qualified leads to them in a really cost effective manner. In addition the travel partner maintains the relationship with the consumer which is becoming increasingly important to the whole travel industry.”