Customization & Influencing Path to Purchase
If marketing has one goal, it is to optimize the customer journey and shape the path to purchase in a way that it influences their purchase decision. Nowadays, this is why most online travel marketers have started to offer targeted recommendations for those ready to buy. In the face of overwhelming customer choice, customization offers an opportunity for travel brands to differentiate themselves.
As we learned from a recent report about industry trends forecast by Swift, the new objective of travel marketers is to customize the customer journey at every touchpoint and deliver the perfect travel experience on a trip by trip basis. (Source
As the current generation of millennials expect their favorite travel brand to offer personalized experiences, it is increasingly important for brands to realign their marketing strategy accordingly. Adobe’s North American 2018 Summit survey confirms that the younger generations are willing to share their data in our on-demand world for receiving tailored services and experiences. (Source) About 87% of customers are more likely to buy from a travel brand that offers personalized experiences. (Source)
However, making this leap on its own is no easy feat. Technology can help to lay the groundwork to execute personalization on a scale where it inspires a traveler’s initial choice to drive revenue. The purchase decision process is a circular journey with four phases – consideration, shortlisting potential choices, closure, and post-purchase experience.
Travel brands can leverage two key streams of big data to offer a personalized customer experience –
- Data collected from website and app interactions including booking history, reviews, surveys, etc.
- Social data surround the brand and its competitors
The collected data can be used to contribute to changes in marketing, pricing, and new business strategies. For instance, Airbnb provided affordable accommodation along with local experiences when they noticed a growing interest of users in the internet trend – ‘living like the locals.’ Travel brands can utilize –
- Metadata to identify patterns of experiences they desire
- Chatbots to create relevant alerts using auto-fill forms
- Cookies and automated systems to offer personalized recommendations/suggestions
- Brief customer surveys for preference-based information and identify promotions that can be implemented
- Social media for geotagging places and properties
- Customer experience in person to drive personalized ROI
Marketers should also understand that implementing personalization as a tool to influence the purchase decision is just half the journey. The post-purchase experience is what shapes customer opinion that ultimately inspires loyalty and repeat purchases. It is an ongoing cycle. When marketers consciously choose to anticipate customer’s needs by offering things that they need – customer service, content, tailored experience or reassurance – it provides a data-led analysis into different audience segments. The proactive tailored messaging then helps you to connect with potential customers. You can further guide your customers by redirecting them to the right part of the website or target offers based on their preferences. If the customer decided to leave your website, you still have captured the data needed to nurture the prospective customers via email marketing.
With customization slowly turning into a hardwired expectation of the current generation and the access to data continues to grow, brands can effectively harness it to serve the right experience to their customers.
At Custom Travel Solutions, we put a lot of weight on the customized aspect of our business…hence the name. Contact us today and learn how we can build a platform around your current business or a new idea you have with benefits that fit specifically to your target audience or travel requirements.