What business is redBus into? Ofcourse, travel/transportation. But for bus operators, redBus and other online bus services serves distribution, awareness and marketing needs (apart from filling up the bus inventory).
Last year (2012), redBus crossed 1 crore seat bookings milestone and the company has now launched an advertising platform for bus operators that helps operators sell their unused inventory.
On an average, buses are able to fill up 80% inventory (goes further down during weekdays) and regular travelers do know that haggling at last minute helps – ‘hey! we are a group of four, give us some discounts?‘.
With the launch of advertising platform, redBus is trying to become the platform to sell last minute inventory and in the whole process, be the marketplace that also bats for bus operators (redBus has launched a couple of cool features for consumers, including virtual bus stops).
Isn’t this a ‘deal’ business? Well, yes and no. Deal for the consumer, but redBus’ CPO, Alok Goel is clear that this is more of a advertising/marketing platform for operators and while deal businesses are all about the platform pushing deals to consumers, redBus will not favor any operator owing to their adverting relationship with the company.
We are treating the website as a media platform and the operators can choose what they want to pay for a “banner” on the results page. The benefit would go to the customer in the form of a discount.
Read : redBus’ founder Phanindra Sama on Mentorship