The Future Of Personalisation In The Travel Industry

by Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams ODIGEO

Whilst many senior leaders today understand the importance of personalisation, the real key to success in today’s marketplace is offering a good personal experience to customers. More than half (63%) of customers will stop buying from brands that use poor personalisation tactics according to marketing firm Smart Insights.

So how can brands offer a good personalised experience, one that’s better than their competitors? Using AI and machine learning is absolutely key. For our business, the elements that customers find the most challenging about the booking process – finding the best flights and hotels for the most competitive price – can be solved via AI, providing the customer with the most personalised experience and offers, at great speed.

However, to stay ahead of the game in a post-COVID world, businesses need to think about what personalisation will look like in the years ahead and take steps to focus on developing their offer in line with that now.

According to a recent study by McKinsey, brands will use ecosystems to personalise journeys end to end. This will mean that the personalisation a customer experiences on their holiday may not end when they arrive at their hotel, but continue to expand into partner ecosystems with, for example, the restaurants they choose to eat out at, the clubs they visit and the shops they buy souvenirs from. All this enables customers to benefit from experiences that are uniquely tailored to them and therefore better. The consulting giant predicts that whilst the share of global sales that move through the ecosystems is still less than 10% – it will grow to 30% by 2025.

Another focus is on subscription services. They enable businesses to deepen their relationship with their customers over a number of months or even years, much more than in the case of a one-off sale, and can therefore enable the business to offer these customers increasingly more personalised experiences or products as a result. This is one of the key reasons we introduced Prime, the world’s first travel subscription service, back in 2017.

These services are a win/win offering from businesses; attractive to customers as they often offer better value for money for the consumer whilst also supporting businesses by guaranteeing revenue. The appeal of this winning solution is hard to argue considering that subscription-based companies grow five to eight times faster than traditional businesses, according to The Subscription Economy Index.

With the above in mind, we’re excited about the possibilities that lie ahead for us, in terms of offering our customers even more tailored experiences, and what this means for travel and the industry as a whole.

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