Why Personalization Is Relevant to the Travel and Leisure Industries
The selection is huge, and the number of choices you have to make is even greater. And all while a vacation is all about relaxation! Fortunately, as a travel provider, you can do a lot to change that and bring the vacation pre-fun to your platform. By applying hyper-personalization in every stage of the customer journey, you not only improve the experience around the booking process, but also increase the chances of actual conversion. In this article, you’ll read about how to do that.
Choices or Opportunities? The Choice Is Yours
Where to go, with whom, for how long, with what transportation… this is just a sample of the number of choices that precede booking a vacation. And we haven’t even talked about ancillaries, the extra options that consumers are presented with: think of an airport pickup service, the view from the hotel room, or a rental car on location. All of these choices make finding the perfect vacation not only a challenge for the consumer, but also for the provider. Because each choice offers an opportunity to inspire the customer, prevent friction, eliminate doubt, and bind them to your platform to stay top-of-mind for the time of booking.
This Way, You Create an Organized Orientation
The first opportunities present themselves within the orientation phase, where the traveler explores options. To stand out in the content clutter and grab attention, approach customers with inspirational content that fits their needs and preferences.
Did someone book a backpacking trip to Thailand and Peru in the past? Then an inspirational newsletter about the best backpacking routes through Sri Lanka is more relevant than an email filled with all-inclusive family hotels in Turkey. Or does someone like hiking vacations, then you also wouldn’t offer a sun-sea-beach vacation!
Of course, it’s impossible to determine this manually for each (potential) customer. An AI-driven decisioning engine, such as Inspire, takes that work out of your hands. It looks at historical data, recent data, and data from comparable consumers. Just because someone has backpacked in the past doesn’t necessarily mean they want to make the same trip now. Inspire determines, based on different data sources, which inspirational content is relevant at the moment and takes into account factors such as timing. This means that inspirational content will be served to early bookers earlier than late bookers. Both the pre-selection of relevant content and timing make the orientation process more manageable and strengthen the relationship with the (potential) customer.
Increase Booking Value? Personalize Timing and Ancillaries
Once the consumer is in the booking process, new choices are made. For them, this means new moments of consultation, doubt, and insights, and for you, opportunities to bind them to you and increase the booking value. How do you best set up this process? A decisioning engine also makes selections during the booking that match the traveler’s characteristics. If someone selects a family vacation and is traveling with a baby, the decisioning engine ensures that family rooms with a crib are at the top of the list of recommendations. If someone has already rented a car on location for a similar vacation a few times, it’s relevant to make recommendations for rental cars that match the size of the travel group, the destination, and the budget. But if historical data shows that someone is inclined to arrange such ancillaries at the last minute, the decisioning engine parks cross- and upsell opportunities for a later, more relevant moment.
Why Personalization Will Make a Difference for You
It’s clear that hyper-personalization through a decision engine is the key to success in travel. Whether you offer weekend getaways, family vacations, backpacking trips, or expeditions to the snow, eliminating irrelevant choices in the early stages makes your content stand out and draws attention. With relevant pre-selections, a decision engine also shortens and clarifies the path to booking. This way, customers can find their dream vacation faster and there is no more choice stress. In summary, hyper-personalization leads to more conversions, higher average booking value, and stronger customer relationships, which you will benefit from now and in the future.