Peek adds B2B business model with backend suite of tools for tour operators
Peek‘s Ruzwana Bashir took the stage at Phocuswright’s Travel Innovation Summit today, sharing a new B2B backend professional tool for tour and activity operators.
The suite is called Peek Professional, and focuses entirely on allowing tour operators to run their businesses more efficiently through a variety of tools.
- Full schedule overview for operators to see booking numbers for coming months.
- Heat map selection allows for a visual view of booked tours: the most booked tours are bright red, and those with remaining capacity show up lighter red.
- Ability to message guests for a particular tour via email.
- Ability to assign and re-assign guides to specific tours, allowing for a quick shuffling of assets as needed.
- Manifest for each tour is available within the dashboard.
While Tnooz hasn’t has a full demo of this new product, the addition of a B2B business model brings up some very important questions for the young company. In no particular order, here’s some initial off-the-cuff thoughts:
- It’s difficult to excel in just B2B or B2C. Will Peek be spreading itself too thin with products for both?
- If this B2B solution is what tour operators want from a booking platform, why hasn’t a tours-and-activities booker like Viator also offered up a back-end solution for tour operators?
- There are several companies that work to on-board tour operators into an online booking platform and backend business management system, and they’ve been spending years on their product. Can this product excel given it’s much tighter development timeframe?
- Do tour operators really want to integrate another system?
- How will this direct booking management system play with other systems tour operators may use? If real-time booking is the point of the management tool, how will the real-time inventory be shared with others?
- It’s a struggle to build a B2B brand, especially one focused on small businesses that are not tech-savvy, have little time to implement new solutions, and most definitely have fewer resources to spend on new SaaS solutions.
- This has now become a sales piece beyond simple inbound marketing. Can Peek build a sales team to onboard enough operators to make this a viable revenue stream?
- How much are they charging suppliers?
- What is the current gross monthly transaction volume coming from the consumer-facing site? Is it enough to make it an easy choice for tour operators to also subscribe to the management tool?
- Why would a tour operator use Peek’s back-end management when they are also competing for direct bookings with their consumer-facing tool?
- By offering a B2B solution that competes with other independent tour operator software providers, has Peek cut itself off from other sources of inventory? Other T&A service providers that own supplier inventory will most certainly be reluctant to offer that inventory up to Peek’s consumer-facing site, potentially limiting the key resource that drives a B2C booking site: bookable inventory.
We’ll be watching this carefully, as Peek has received the lion’s share of publicity in the travel space this year. Can they manage to straddle the B2C and B2B worlds while still building a scalable business that merits the attention and investment? One to watch for 2014.
Nick Vivion is a writer and strategist. He was a Tnooz reporter and global events lead between August 2012 and July 2015. He was the launch co-founder of Booty's, a global street food restaurant in New Orleans and was recently AVP Operations, North America, at Zomato.