The limitless opportunities offered by social media has led to the emergence of new growth in the existing travel sector through the culmination of brand-advocating influencers, hashtag communities, and FOMO (fear of missing out). So what does this mean for your travel club or business?
The travel industry has grown emphatically over the last decade and continues to do so at lightning speed, thanks in part to the growth of a mobile-friendly business. The numbers currently stand at $1.1 trillion in 2018 contributed to the gross domestic product in the US economy alone. (Source) This tectonic shift is one result of companies prioritizing mobile as the primary sales channel.
With more technology integrated into our lives, your customers expect everything within arm’s reach via their devices. Their travel booking journey spans across multiple devices such as tablets, desktops, mobiles, laptops and more. It is critical for travel businesses to pursue omnichannel communication for providing seamless customer experience and maximizing sales.
A Q&A with Custom Travel Solutions CEO Mike Putman – as seen in Direct Selling News July 2019 issue What was the goal behind introducing the hotel rewards program? A client came to us looking for ways to increase their distributor/customer engagement without having to spend a lot of money on another expensive program. We were able to provide a cost-effective hotel rewards program that allowed them to distribute hotel rewards to their distributors/customers through a fully branded hotel booking platform. The hotel rewards can be used at 100’s of thousands of hotels around the world, all bookable through the booking engine. The great news is that the rewards literally cost our clients just a few pennies on the dollar. This allows them to offer an equal number of hotel rewards as what the distributor /customer is paying in autoship, for just a fraction of what they collected. So how did the program impact engagement? Our client saw an incredible 5x the amount of member engagement month-over-month from program introduction. Their distributors/ customers recognized they were able to earn these hotel rewards automatically and were able to apply them to a huge inventory of hotels around the world. The increased…
When a product or service is tailored to customers’ specific needs, it can be marketed effectively to generate loyalty in the long term. From designer handbag to hotel accommodation and even consumer goods, pretty much everything comes with a personal touch. Retailers are looking for ingenious ways to implement product customization for better conversion rates. A report by Infosys backs up the desire for customization and states that 59% of shoppers who experienced customization have significantly influenced what they purchased while 31% wished for a more personalized shopping experience. (Source)
Today’s hyperconnected customers are glued to their devices. The need for constant connectivity is bringing some major cultural shifts along the way. Customers now expect to get what they want and brands who can offer the best assistance will certainly win.
Attracting and retaining customers is a continuous process but can be made easier thanks to the ever-growing technology and multi-faceted nature of loyalty programs. Last year, the travel industry accounted for direct spending of $2.7 billion a day which is roughly $31,400 a second, according to a report published by the US Travel Association. (Source) Take a look at this infographic generated by the U.S Travel Association to see the full economic impact of the travel industry.
While implementing a loyalty program, retailers put the majority of their emphasis on cultivating current customer loyalty. However, expanding one’s customer base should not be overlooked. Fortunately, the digital age is all about data and marketers can inundate themselves with it. The challenge lies in using valuable data correctly and ultimately meet one’s business objectives.
The future of travel technology looks very promising. New technologies like Artificial Intelligence, virtual reality, and machine learning are revolutionizing the travel industry landscape and loyalty programs are no exception. It’s high time to explore long-term strategies and new distribution models to drive engagement and reinvigorate your travel brand in this intensely evolving travel ecosystem.