MakeMyTrip has unveiled an SMS based bus-ticket booking service. Developed by txtWeb, an open platform for SMS-based applications, the service lets feature or entry level mobile phone users to book a bus ticket via SMS.
Elaborating on this initiative, Amit Somani, Chief Products Officer, MakeMyTrip said,
“India is the largest market for mobile phones, with the growth in handsets-sales and new mobile connections far out-pacing sales of desktops, notebooks and new internet connections. To ensure that the non-smartphone users can also avail and experience the benefits of the mobile platform, we have developed this SMS-base service for bus-ticket reservation. ”
In order to book a ticket user have to SMS @mbus <from-city> <to-city> <date-of-journey> <number of passengers> to 9664896648. MakeMyTrip will respond with choices for different operators for the specific journey date and route. A user then has to select the operator of choice and the company will send a form for filling in passenger details along with a template to make payments using IMPS. These IMPS transaction details will be used in payment processing. MakeMyTrip will thus send an eticket in the form of email and an SMS. The SMS system worked really well when I tried to book a ticket from Pune to Mumbai. The messages didn’t take long to respond and it was simple to book the ticket by following the given instructions. I hope that this service helps the non-smartphone users and make bus ticket booking convenient for them.
“We targeted bus ticket reservation for this platform (mobile) since the ticket value is lower and most first-time users can confidently experiment with the channel. We believe that the future of e-commerce and travel buying experience is on the mobile and we will continue to build products with a mobile-first approach.”
We have seen a lot of companies that are targeting feature phone users considering their number compared to smartphone users. Last month IRCTC announced to launch SMS based rail ticketing service from July 1. The online bus booking sector has become competitive. iBibo group (Indian Subsidiary of Naspers) acquired Indian bus booking startup, redBus. In March, Goibibo launched android app for bus booking. The company also recently released an insight regarding state of online booking saying that over 50% of online booking of bus tickets seem unplanned.
The MakeMyTrip website offers Bus tickets for 1300+ operators over 12,000 + routes across India including the inventory for Punbus/Punjab Roadways , GSRTC, Goa and Bihar Road Transport Corporation and Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. MakeMyTrip which also has Android and iOS apps is continuously growing with partnerships and acquisitions. What do you think of the SMS based ticketing service? Share with us your comments.