ATPCO does away with star ratings in NGS standard

NGS Mock Example 2

ATPCO has announced a key change to its developing Next Generation Storefront (NGS) standard, which now enables channel partners to present the NGS “shelves” algorithm in a display that aligns with the unique needs of each channel’s customers. This change eliminates the requirement to use the star rating system that initially defined each shelf.

The standard retains the NGS shelf system, which uses ATPCO’s Routehappy rich content data to group like-type products on six shelves that are displayed in value order from left to right, but channels now have more freedom to design visual identifiers and customise the label for each shelf’s common data elements.

Instead of a star rating system, that identifier can now be a custom combination of text, icons or graphics, as long as it clearly indicates the commonality and progression of the six shelves.

The update to the evolving standard comes on the heels of two recent ATPCO NGS working and advisory group meetings in London and Dulles, where group members, which include leading airlines, distribution channels and other industry platforms like OpenJaw, workshopped alternatives that facilitate greater customisation within the standard.

The working group addressed feedback that stars are sometimes conflated with quality, and that giving channels the freedom to highlight the shelves in different and innovative iterations according to their customer needs was a better outcome for all.

After unveiling its intent to develop the NGS industry standard at its annual Elevate conference in October 2018, ATPCO said in 11 months it has seen considerable progress from its fast design approach: experiment, iterate, adapt, based on industry and partner feedback. Early pilots have shown that NGS delivered commercial value to airlines and bottom-line growth for sellers.

ATPCO will continue testing with the industry to ensure NGS fully aligns with the global needs of consumers, airlines and channels alike, while simplifying and enhancing flight shopping for travellers, said Gianni Cataldo, head of R&D at ATPCO in a statement. “Our latest adjustment to NGS comes directly from feedback collected via our channel partners.”

The core NGS value has proven to be the underlying shelf placement algorithms that ensure like-type products are consistently presented on the same shelf. Cataldo explained: “We realise that airlines and channels are retailing experts and are best positioned to manage how the shelves are presented. ATPCO is an organisation that wants to be a two-way partner to the industry, not a referee on the field telling them what is best for their customers. Our shift away from the star rating system made the most sense.”

The NGS working and advisory group is currently still open for any airline, platform, channel, or GDS to join. More information is available here.

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