Monarch is preparing to close down its trade Cosmos website as the transition to the Monarch brand comes to a conclusion.
Gary Anslow, sales director at the Monarch Group, said the new site will offer agents much better product search functionality which they have demanded of the operator. Aspects of the trade site will be adapted for its consumer facing website once Monarch has had time to assess how they work for agents.
The switch to the Monarch master brand began last October and to date around half of Monarch agents are using the new site. The rest will transition across in the next couple of weeks, said Anslow.
“Feedback from agents has been excellent,” he said. “It’s been very good in terms of the functionality. That’s been backed up by a sales uplift of about 20% to 30% from the agents using it versus the old site which is in line with expectations.”
Anslow said as well as a wider search functionality agents wanted better access to late deals. They can now make use of more adaptable filters which enable the range of search dates to be predetermined. Anslow attributed the sales uplift to the improved access to all Monarch’s deals on the new site.
Monarch will retain the Cosmos and Cosmos Holidays brands and websites to avoid any confusion with the separate Cosmos Tours and Cruises brand that was not part of the rescue deal for Monarch secured with investor Greybull Capital in 2014.
Anslow said 60% of trade business goes through the website, the rest transacted through its Stockport-based call centre.
He said he expected the same level of business to continue coming through its call centre despite the improved trade portal as agents continue to use it for more complex requests.
“We have a very good contact centre. All agents go on fam trips and the conversion rate is very high. They are experts and that is not going away on the back of us having a better trade portal. We will see more business coming through the trade portal but I would expect the same number coming through the contact centre.”