Yatra.com targets The Next Big Travel Market: Tier II & III cities with ‘Yatra Mini’ App

Yatra.com has recently launched a new mobile application, Yatra Mini, targetting value seeking travellers featuring bus, train and budget hotel bookings. The key feature of the app is that it is extremely lightweight at only approx. 4.5 MB and is fast loading even in poor network areas. The app is built to cater even to lower end android phones and is supported by Android 4 & above. The other exciting feature is that it is a multi-lingual travel app in Hindi & English with more regional languages such as Tamil, Bangla, Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu being added very soon to cater to the non-English audiences across the country. 

Over the past few years, tier II and III cities have shown higher growth of online travel bookings driven by the rising penetration of smartphones and increased access to the internet. A large chunk of these travellers are travelling by bus and train and choosing budget hotels for their stays on these trips. Yatra.com is targeting this customer with Yatra Mini that features only relevant product lines in a lightweight app that works well even in poor network – a strong mix of elements that appeal to these customers who typically have limitations on memory space on their phones and are extremely focused on keeping their data usage to a minimum. 

As per a recent report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), India has 402 million Internet users as of December 2015, thereby overtaking the US in total Internet users. A lot of this growth has come from rural India which has witnessed a 99% surge in mobile internet users and now has over 80 million users.But the most exciting news in this rural India growth story is the demography: 75% of Internet users from rural India are in the age group of 18-30 years and Yatra.com is looking to catch them early in their journey of online travel bookings with the Yatra Mini application. 

Sharat Dhall, President Yatra.com commenting on the launch of the app says, “Yatra is very focused on the needs of the Indian traveller and in this case, we have identified a clear gap in the market with no one catering to a very large and rapidly growing segment of mobile users, who access the internet using their entry level smartphones, and are seeking an app that enables them to make their bookings speedily and does not occupy much memory space. By offering this app in regional languages, we are also tapping into the non-English traveller who is looking to shift to the convenience of online booking. We also researched the needs of this traveller and based on the findings, limited the product offerings to bus, train and budget hotel bookings so that the app is sharply focused on the needs of this segment.” 

While India is witnessing a massive rise in smartphone user base, connectivity continues to be a serious limitation for easy usage of internet services. Keeping that in mind Yatra.com has designed the Yatra Mini to work well in poor network and use very little data. It comprises of easy to configure components and can be changed/modified without an app release thus further reducing the data usage. 

A large part of India, particularly in the smaller cities, continues to take trains and buses as primary mode of transport and Yatra Mini offers:

Trains Booking Features:

·         Smooth & easy booking flow for trains.

·         Booking requests under all quotas like Tatkal, ladies, handicapped etc.

·         Train tracking mechanism through Live Running Status.

·         Option to check Train PNR status.

·         Easy cancellation flow of booked Train tickets.

·         Option to file TDR for booked Train tickets.

·         Train route map visibility before booking tickets.

Bus Booking Features:

·         Smooth & easy booking flow for buses.

·         Easy comparison of buses & schedules across the India.

·         Book tickets on state bus carriers as well like APSRTC, MSRTC, UPSRTC, HRTC, GoaKadamba.

·         Option to choose bus by looking at the available amenities like A/C, Television, Water Bottle, Sleeper, Blanket,              M-ticket etc.

·         Smart Filtered results the right bus as user’s convenience & comfort.

·         Select convenient boarding points while booking ticket. 

To make the app user friendly, Yatra Mini offers help to travellers to view their upcoming, completed and cancelled trips.All details of trips will be available like journey date, passenger details, bus operator details, boarding point details, cancellation policy, fare & payment details etc.They allow a person to cancel bus tickets with single click and get refund info before cancellation. If anyone is facing bus operator issues, or any other issue post journey, they can use the claim refund option and Yatra will analyze the issue to see refund eligibility. It also provides an option to cancel train tickets without any hassle. If a traveler misses his/her train the app allows to file TDR for trains and get refund (basis Indian railways TDR policy). There are options to resend e-tickets on email and SMS and options to contact the Yatra Helpdesk as well.

Apart from all the above features, Yatra is launching the app with lucrative loyalty offers like option to use earned eCash on trains and bus bookings.

  • For Train Bookings eCash redemption is 10 percent of booking value
  • For Bus Bookings eCash redemption is 5 percent of booking value

Also to enable users to share the app with their friends and motivate them to use the app, Yatra is offering ‘refer and earn’ options wherein users can refer their friends and earn 1000 eCash. The friend being referred will also earn 1500 eCash to use on their bookings.

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