With travellers now being able to research, plan and book their trips online, travel companies are competing to win the race to use the latest technology and enhance their personalisation to improve the experience they provide for their customers.
The rise of tech-savvy consumers means innovation in the travel industry has a shorter life-cycle than ever before. Users are mastering and moving beyond new trends, so delivering a personalised and efficient experience is the key to success in the travel industry.
Customer demand for personalised travel at the best price is on the up. Google’s VP of Engineering for Travel and Shopping, Oliver Heckmann, stated:
“People don’t just want faster access to information — they want better, more personalised experiences. If I were to pull out my phone and search for a nearby hotel or restaurant, I’d expect the information I find to be tailored to me based on my location, time of day, and maybe even past interests."
Heckmann also found that 57% of travellers thought that brands should tailor their offerings based on their past behaviours and personal preferences, with 1 in 3 stating that they’d pay more for a personalised service. This evidence suggests brands need to consider their customers on a deeper level, through targeting promotions and making suggestions based on their interests and online behaviour.
Personalised landing pages
The research process when booking a fight, hotel or entire trip is a lengthy one so ensuring you’re displaying relevant recommendations based on your customers’ interests or what they’ve browsed or bought before is key.
Personalisation of landing pages can improve customer experience through displaying details unique to the customer, such as the browser’s name and location. Showing content that’s relevant to their browsing or purchase history will create a more relevant page for the customer which will increase the likelihood of a conversion.
To get started, setting up a member registration or creating reports on your customers will help you gather all the relevant information you need to create personalised landing pages.
Ensure you cover:
- Individual’s name
- Email address
- Gender (this can be done via title: Ms., Miss, Mrs., or Mr.)
- Location (mailing or billing address)
With this data, you can create landing pages with fill-the-blank elements to incorporate your customer’s data to create a personalised experience. Developing personalised pages is likely to spark conversation once you attract users to your site, but it is important to consider that personalisation goes beyond landing pages and should be applied to all marketing efforts where possible.
Location targeted content
There is already the technology out there that allows you to create personalised content, offers and communications, but how you use it is vital to setting you aside from competitors. Don’t be afraid to embrace new ideas or try out new technology such as location targeted content, which allows you to target travellers within a certain radius. Location-targeted content poses as an exciting opportunity to ensure your customers are exposed to exactly the right offers at exactly the right time. For example, you could prompt travellers to pay for parking when there are near the car park, or sending vouchers for restaurants when travellers are close by.
Research by HubSpot found that personalised messaging can increase engagement by up to 42%, compared to generic content, making location-targeted content an ideal opportunity to engage travellers.
Perfect deals at the right moment
Many consumers will be immune to advertising, so your use of personalisation will be most effective by targeting personalised deals at the right time. Personalising traveller recommendations based on their data reduces the chance for your brand to bombard potential customers with irrelevant offers or promotions, such as discounted car parking if they don’t drive or 2 for 1 offers if they’re travelling alone.
Personalisation in the travel industry is going beyond addressing emails to the customers’ name, it’s about putting thought into the construction and scheduling of communications to ensure a high CTR. Scheduling emails and push-notifications at the key stages of the traveller’s itinerary is a key step in developing the personalisation process. Contacting a traveller the night before their trip, encouraging them to book small details they may have forgotten such as travel insurance or airport transfers can be a great way of generating some extra revenue, as well as mitigating any slip-ups that may occur.
Personalised emails can be used throughout various stages in the purchasing process and have been successfully used in KLM’s strategy whereby they retarget customers that abandon carts online, allowing them to carry on the user journey from where they left off. This technique is used by many successful travel companies around the globe, suggesting it is a beneficial method of winning back some customers who may have purchased elsewhere.
With plenty of evidence to support the use of personalisation in the travel industry, it would seem silly not to incorporate it into as many marketing methods as possible. Travel companies can transform traveller experiences to better serve evolving traveller behaviours and it appears to be a sensible approach in the years to come. If you’re looking to create a personalised experience for your customers or clients, get in touch with the Adido travel marketing agency team for expert advice on the best strategy for you.