The Co-operative Travel is to set up a dedicated page on its website for each of its retail stores, giving agents the chance to earn commission on bookings made online.
Managing director Mike Greenacre said all 373 shops would have their own customised page, with information on the staff and their specialisms.
The stores will earn commission if a customer books online through their page having made an enquiry in store. The move is an attempt to establish a more joined-up approach between the retail stores and online.
Branches will be added to the site in phases, with all expected to be featured by the summer.
Speaking at the launch of the trial, Alistair Rowland, distribution director of The Co-operative Travel, said: “We don’t want customers to feel pulled between the shop and the site, so we need a more joined-up approach. The site should be seen as supporting the shops.”
The company is also preparing to release an iPhone app and plans to greatly increase its video content online.
The site had four million unique visitors last year, four times more than the year before, and the expectation is that number will continue to grow.
Head of e-commerce Neil Hardy said: “As a business we don’t mind how our customers book but we want to give them options and make sure the honesty of the brand permeates all channels.”
The Co-operative Travel is the latest travel firm to pursue a more multi-channel approach. Midcounties Co-operative has transformed two of its shops into multi-channel concept stores.
Meanwhile, Thomas Cook has trialled an initiative allowing customers to chat to agents online through the company’s website.
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