As technology progresses, so does marketing. Online shopping is a competitive sector, but when customers are shopping for experiences and holidays, it can become even more so.
Online travel sites cater to a type of ecommerce buyer that is ever changing. The days of the package holiday are dying out – while this used to be one of the most popular ways to book a holiday and an easier product to sell for agents, people are now looking for something more personal and accessible. With this in mind, let’s look at 6 ways personalisation is transforming the online travel sector.
- Rewarding loyalty with personalised special offers
Personalisation helps travel companies tailor every stage of the buying process and the journey itself so the customer feels welcomed and accommodated. Often overlooked, everything that takes place after the purchase, and even after the trip, is extremely important. One way personalisation can be used here is to collect feedback from customers and provide them with offers based on their experience. This will make them feel like a valued member of the company’s community, rather than another transaction number.
- Building lasting relationships
By using customer data such as demographics, location, purchase history, and in-app behaviour, travel companies can make every step of the booking process more enjoyable and smoother, encouraging customers to return in future and building a lasting relationship. Personalisation allows organisations to have this same kind of intimate, one-to-one relationship with customers, globally. However, this can only work if you have the right data and can effectively use it.
- Reinventing the package holiday
Although it seems that the package holiday as a product is becoming increasingly futile, there is an opportunity for revival in its downfall. With uncertainty still surrounding European travel in the midst of Brexit negotiations, agents need to seize the opportunity to offer price-conscious families the excellent value and consumer protection offered by package holidays. Thanks to market segmentation, identifying these customers has never been easier.
- Supporting customers throughout their journey
In the past, travellers had two ways of booking holidays, going direct or using a travel agency. Nowadays, thanks to online shopping, you can hold your customer’s hand throughout the entire process instead. Google believes holidaymakers go through four stages when booking a trip: dreaming, planning, booking and experiencing. By considering how your customer engages with content on your website, you can tailor your email marketing to encourage them along the purchasing journey. During the planning stage, make sure you’re providing users with the opportunity to opt-in to personalised web pushes or personalised email notifications so you can send them gentle reminders about what you have to offer.
- Standing out in a competitive market
With more choice available to consumers, travel companies face a race against the clock to fill hotels and flights. This means they’re under even more pressure to stand out, and the way to do this is via their websites and marketing. Make sure your search function is personalised, fast, intuitive and accurate. Make sure to provide customers with a number of different filters so they can tailor their search results. PetsPyjamas worked with Segmentify’s platform to tailor their search personalisation resulting in 3X better conversion on all hotel bookings. If your website isn’t all of these things, now is the time to improve it.
- Providing personalised product recommendations
You can also use your website to collect data about individual motivations and needs, and then use this information to guide people to their perfect trip, rather than them stumbling across it. Simply put, if you’re not offering personalised product recommendations, you’re not being proactive. What’s even more interesting is that 75% of customers under 30 expect personalised product recommendations as part of their online shopping experience. It’s about that time to start exceeding expectations – don’t you think?