Priceline’s Rentalcars.com has launched a new Marketplace portal to help it integrate more of the long tail of small local independent suppliers onto its platform.
Marketplace offers an online sign up for suppliers and had been soft launched first in the UK by the Manchester-based firm.
The service will provide car rental operators with the opportunity to feature their vehicles in over 95 million global customer searches results every year.
By opening its platform to the independent sector, Rentalcars.com says it plans to significantly increase the number of locations and vehicles available to customers throughout the UK.
Ian Brown, chief executive of Rentalcars.com, said: “The independent car rental sector represents approximately 16% of the entire UK market.
“By allowing independent supply partners to access Rentalcars.com, we are now able to offer increased coverage and choice to our loyal customer base.”
Speaking to Travolution at the recent World Travel Market trade show in London, Ady Guthrie, global partnerships director at Rentalcars Connect said the firm wanted to improve its service to small suppliers.
“We think we have already got a really good proposition. This is about servicing certain destinations where it’s a very fragmented market. It’s about the customer service level that they get,” Guthrie said.
Initially a manual assurance check is being done on suppliers that sign up to check they are legitimate but the company says this will eventually be automated across the group.
Rentalcars expects its growing reliance on quality through customer reviews which are increasingly determining results surface by its search algorithm will maintain and drive up quality from smaller suppliers as they compete for visibility and business.
Marketplace will be rolled out beyond the UK to 20 countries within the next 12 months.
External: Rentalcars Marketplace