Reselling non-refundable hotel reservations: how COAX built a booking service that automatically aggregates and unifies big data for customers

Category
Travel
Backend:
node.js + express.js
Frontend:
React.js + SSR
UX analytics and workflow:
Disciplines
API development, GDS integration

Customer profile

A global travel platform that serves as a real-time marketplace for re-selling hotel rooms reached out to COAX for turn-key development services. The client needed to build a powerful online platform that could deliver reservations to sellers and buyers in a way that ensured easy re-booking operations.

The service specializes in the resale of nonrefundable hotel reservations from people who, for various reasons, no longer need them to those who are looking for the same type of reservation.

Many of us are familiar with this situation: you booked a hotel room, paid for it in advance, and then your plans change, and you cannot cancel your reservation without losing money. Every day, thousands of people face this problem around the world.

It was the key problem that the COAX client wanted to solve by developing a system that could allow anyone to resell their booked room to someone for whom it is relevant. At the time of the request, the client had only a rough outline of the project. The company was searching for reliable partners who could approach the project strategically and offer a range of development options with different budgets.

Note: To maintain confidentiality, our client chose not to disclose their company name. However, the challenges, data, and quotes you'll find in this case study are accurate.

The Challenges

The main process around which the work of the platform had to be organized was integration with the many hotel stocks through various real-time integrated global systems.

Reference: A global distribution system (GDS) is a digital network that allows transactions between travel providers, hotels, and travel agencies. The GDS mainly uses real-time inventory (e.g., the number of hotel rooms available) from the service providers. Travel agencies rely on GDS to provide travel-related services to the end consumers.

More than 600,000 travel agents use these global systems every day on behalf of companies to book flights, hotels, car rentals, and destination activities. Working within these environments involves large databases of hotels with different data structures. This makes it difficult to unify information. Bringing all the data under a single common view turned out to be a complex task.

Another challenge was that of accessing and integrating other global booking providers' systems. This included a number of aspects, such as:

  • Integration with multiple payment systems
  • Data security issues
  • Searching for hotels and the use of online maps

Given the huge number of integrations with third parties, the requirements for security and uninterrupted system operation were a high priority.

The Solution

COAX started by researching how other services use data booking and provided the customer with possible solutions, each of which was more robust and therefore more expensive than the previous one:

  • Create algorithms to decrypt and accumulate data from third-party systems in a format that is clear and easy for the average user to understand.
  • Create a neural network that allows for automating the process of transferring data and displaying it in a specific format.
  • Hire a team of people and enter the data manually but accurately. This option is quite costly because hiring employees is usually more expensive than an automated solution.

The business requirements of the project included the development of a full range of functionality required for the marketplace. This included:

  • client-side account administration, booking activities, and billing for reports and invoices
  • admin-side control via a network of dashboards and activity monitoring for financial metrics

The platform had to be equally accessible from both desktop and mobile devices.

COAX allocated a team of six specialists, including frontend and backend engineers, QA, and a project manager. The list of features shipped includes the following:

  • User account and client validation
  • Dashboards for customers and operations
  • Operations management: booking, payments, and brokerage systems
  • Invoicing
  • Multiple gateway integrations

COAX was also responsible for the entire process of designing and deploying the cloud infrastructure of the project.

Summing up the customer experience

A year and a half passed between when work commenced on the proof of concept and the launch of the platform in its final form. The initial trust that the client had in the reputation of COAX was validated upon launch.

To date, COAX provides full support for the project's cloud infrastructure and provides developer support, which includes planned changes in the functionality and design of the service.

“In working with COAX, we found them to be highly professional and have continued our ongoing relationship and cooperation with COAX on this project thanks to the ongoing support they continue to offer us. We have complete confidence that they will continue to be a responsible development partner.” Director of the client company.

Why partner with COAX?

Our main focus is providing successful and exceptional services. We believe in long-term relationships that bring value to both businesses.

We adopt

We adapt to our client’s’ business needs, constantly searching for new ways to fulfil their requirements

Shorter time to go-live

Dedicated and authorized teams deliver on the promised schedule.

Quality services

Our quality strategy is aimed to prevent defects, not just detect them.

Transparency

Our goal is to be a trustworthy partner, operating with honesty and transparency for long-term value

Data-driven decisions

We rely product analytics to make the right data-driven decisions.

Support for full lifecycle

Our team supports you from the stage of ideation, to production

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