When we went live Soft Cloud IBE (our travel website solution for travel agents) it was already one of the most feature rich and cost effective solutions in the market. That didn’t stop us from taking on feed back and suggestions to further improve what we offer.
The team has been working throughout 2021 to add new features and upgrade existing tools to help boost your 2022 travel recovery with Soft Cloud Travel Technology. With the tools that SoftCloud IBE now offers you’re placed to provide both new and existing customers a big brand OTA (online travel agent) experience, backed up with the fantastic bespoke service that only independent travel agents like you can offer.
We’ve counted all the updates added this year and co-incidentally there were 22 new features or enhancements added over the year! (In all honesty I think there were a few more, but 25 for 2022 didn’t have the same ring to it!).
The full list of updates is below, so have a read and let us know if you’d like any more information.
- Auto Offer Builder: Simply search for any flight, hotel or flight and hotel combination and save any result you see as a special offer. All the offer information including images, text and price will download into your offer database and you can edit the final offer before adding it to your site.
- Offer Filters: We have introduced filters to the Special Offers page. Your customers can now filter offers by Offer Type (Flight, Hotel, Package, Multi Destination Package), Destination and Month.
- News / Blog Enhancements: You can now add a thumbnail to every blog entry. This is a separate image that will be shown on the main Blog page next to the article listing. You can add a thumbnail to an existing article by editing the article and uploading an image to the “Thumbnail” field. All new articles will now show a creation date. You can add a date to existing articles by editing an existing article and clicking “Update”.
- Custom Page Builder: You can now create your own custom pages (up to 2) with your own custom content. You can use these pages to add any new content you want and further customize your travel website. Create a page promoting your visa service, destination weddings, feature travel advice, custom links or simply share your favourite BBQ recipe! The choice is yours.
- 6 New Colour Schemes: This is pretty self explanatory. 6 New colour schemes and more coming! e want to make sure you site matches your company’s brand so If you need a colour scheme added you only need to ask!
- eMerchant Pay Payment Gateway: We’ve integrated eMerchant pay as payment provider, they were founded in 2004 and offer great rates to the travel industry. eMerchant Pay are also a approved payment provider for PTS (Package Travel Services) so PTS members can collect payments into their trust account.
- Custom FAQ Page: You can now add a FAQ to your travel website. This gives you a chance for your customers to get answers to common questions about your business. You can also use this to help answer questions about the COVID situation or anything else that you think will benefit your them.
- Travelport Galileo UAPI (On top of existing Worldspan UAPI): As well as Travelport Worldspan we’ve now implemented Travelport Galileo uAPI, bringing you more options when it comes to the content you want to display to your customers and future proofing your website.
- Barclays EPDQ Payment Gateway: We’ve now integrated the Barclays EPDQ, giving you more options when it comes to payment gateways. Barclays EPDQ is one of the biggest merchant providers in the UK and offers fast, safe and secure payments for your customers.
- Sabre Web Services API: We’ve connected Sabre Web Services to bring you flight content from Sabre GDS, more more choice when it comes to GDS flight content.
- Customer Login: Customers can now login to save their favourite searches when using your website. Some suppliers also allow you to show different content depending on whether your clients are logged in or not. We’ll be expanding this in 2022 so users can view and manage their bookings.
- VFR Flight Fares & ITX Flight Fares (Flight + Hotel Search): We’ve now incorporated different fare types into your search results so you can offer more content to your customers with VFR and ITX fares. VFR fares will be displayed alongside normal flight results and ITX fares will be displayed when your customers search for a flight + hotel.
- Fully Managed Solution: For travel agents who don’t have the time or resources to manage and create content for their website, we now offer a fully managed solution. You tell us what content you would like to load and we’ll do all the work for you. Speak to one of the team to find out more.
- Animated / Video Homepage Background: You can now use animated backgrounds to bring the background of your home page to life. Whether you want to show the waves on a beach at sunset or snow falling in a winter scene, you can use animated backgrounds to create a unique style for your home page.
- Brand New Admin Dashboard: In 2021 we overhauled our whole admin dashboard to make managing your site even easier. We’ve built the new dashboard on brand new technology so we can continue to upgrade and enhance the features we offer you and ultimately what you offer your customers on your website.
- Homepage Banners (Horizontal): With the addition of home page banners you can showcase the content you want to promote. Some of our customers are using it to link to specific offers, some customers to blog articles they want to promote, some to link to third party affiliate sites selling travel insurance or PCR tests for travel or even just to add a bit of design flair to their website.
- New General Offers: We’ve added a new category of special offer to the Soft Cloud IBE dashboard, along with Flight, Hotel, Package and Multi-City offers you can now add General Offers. These are simplified offers that could be anything you choose. The offers can show up as a row of banners on your home page and you can create custom pages to promote certain products or link to any URL you choose (internal or external).
- Enhanced Search Results: We now show the baggage allowance with the initial flight results. If a flight option has multiple fare brands we also show the baggage allowance for the different fare options.
- Flexi Date Calendar Search: Another highly requested feature has now landed, your customers can now choose the flexible date option and receive different flight results for 49 nearly date combinations. Helping them find the best value flight if their travel plans are flexible.
- Enhanced SEO across the site: We’ve incorporated new tools to help improve your website’s search engine optimisation (SEO). Every single page on your site can now have customer SEO text to improve your ranking on search engines on Google and we’ve also applied some clever techniques behind the scenes to help automate some of this for you.
- Footer Logos: You can now add logos to the Footer of your website e.g. ABTA, ATOL, TTA logos. The logos can also link to a URL, so that when clicked they take your customer to a specific site or page. E.g. Check an ATOL page for the ATOL logo.
- New Confirmation Documents: We’ve refreshed all the confirmation documents that are sent to your clients when a booking is complete. Rather than make things more complicated, with unnecessary images and graphics that clog up email inboxes. We went back to basics to make sure the emails are clear, easy to read and render correctly on both desktop and mobile email clients, so your customers are always clear about what they have booked.