Mumbai-based travel services company Cleartrip has unveiled online search powered by Alexa, the voice-controlled assistant of e-commerce and technology giant Amazon.
Jeff Bezos-led Amazon Amazon allows third parties to develop apps, or “skills”, for Alexa. This helps Alexa gain access to more devices, and in turn more data about customers, resulting in better-targeted advertisements for the company.
Cleartrip said the new app will help users make travel queries on Amazon’s Echo speakers, which host Alexa.
“Voice is a tool that makes discovery easier and swifter by eliminating the need for multiple inputs. Through this integration, we are taking the travel-discovery experience to another level by enabling users to save time and effort while searching flight options,” Suman De, director of products at Cleartrip, said. “With our engineering team currently working on enhancing our existing Alexa app, we are looking to add more options soon," De added.
He said the top three search results will be sent to the Alexa app, to add greater flexibility and convenience to the flight-research process.
New features aside, Cleartrip seems to be affected by stiff competition and huge discounts offered by rivals in India. The company reported a revenue of Rs 273 crore for the financial year ended March 2017 (the latest period for which financials are available) from India, up barely 3% from the Rs 265 crore for the previous financial year.
Interestingly, the company has managed to keep the expenditure stable, which stood at Rs 306 crore in March 2017 as compared with Rs 303 crore for 2015-16. Still, the firm has seen its loss widen to around Rs 65 crore each in the last two financial years from Rs 29 crore for 2014-15.
The company had told TechCircle last month that it has sharpened its foreign focus. "We are doubling our scale in international markets and building on our leadership position. The public financials (available with Registrar of Companies) exclude our international operations, which are profitable. We have seen improving operating margins across our products and markets," the company said. It added that it had registered around 50% growth in the international market.