How buyers at Sky 'nudge' travellers to stay in policy

Procurement managers can reduce contract leakage, improve sustainability and reduce costs by “gamifying” travel options.

Gamifying travel involves allocating points with every travel purchase, tagging options with cost-saving or sustainability benefits, and granting more agency to travellers. Points can be purchased directly from suppliers to count towards frequent flyer miles, discounts, or monetary reimbursement.

Speaking at the Business Travel Show Europe, Katharina Riederer, co-founder and CEO at business travel software provider Eco.mio, said it was important to configure perks to incentivise sustainable options, granting more points for those methods of travel. Doing so would make the benefits “tangible” for travellers.

“I believe it’s absolutely the right approach to have options in the booking tool, because everyone is individual and everyone has preferences for how to travel. What we are seeing is that especially for the frequent travellers, business travel is kind of gamified already through buying points from suppliers,” she said.

“Points-based systems are based on how good you are travelling compared to your budget. The budget can be cost-wise, or CO2-wise. You can configure, where do you want to push your travellers? Do you want to have major sustainability aspects or are you mainly worried about costs? Do you want to save carbon at any cost? The great opportunity we see here is in 90% of the cases, carbon reduction goes along with cost reduction.” 

Speaking on a panel, Christina Chimenti, senior procurement partner for travel at Sky, said providing options with incentives gave travellers control. By “gamifying” these options, adding in sustainability and cost-efficiency tags, procurement can “nudge” choices to be aligned with the goals of the company.

“The best way to stop a traveller thinking they can move better than a travel manager is to make sure they have the right options. For us it’s a question of leveraging the online booking tool. You can let travellers define the parameters of their search. Then it’s down to the traveller to pick what they prefer.”

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