With new technological advancements in travel and hospitality, traditional travel agents are fading fast, except for highly trained niche experts. Many travel softwares are now using advanced technology like AI and machine learning to search thousands of travel booking sites, serving curated, personalized options based on the preferences shared.
For several years now, Internet-based distribution systems have radically changed how hospitality and travel industry products are sold. Growing number of Internet users can now easily access a wide array of destinations and travel products from their desktop and mobile screens. Above all, they can make their selections using a broad range of criteria and can locate specific pieces of information. With feedback and review systems in place, the community of travelers help users in making informed decisions.
By fostering the emergence of new players such as online travel agencies and price aggregators, the internet has radically altered the hospitality and travel industry and allowed travel producers to introduce their own direct distribution, thereby diversifying their distribution channels.
Earlier, the industry relied only on behavioral and purchase indicators to engage their target audience. Marketers were more focused on reacting towards the audience behaviour rather than predicting the behaviour and nurturing the audience accordingly. But recently enough, the industry started focusing more on predictive analysis to seek high user engagement rates.
Now it is more about what the users want and how to serve them better, than what the company wants.
Factors that are contributing towards the radical growth of hospitality and travel industry in 2017 -
- Rise in internet penetration
- Increasing mobile presence
- Increasing internet penetration
- Rise in use of smartphones
Need to strike a balance between advance and last minute offers-
- 30% of millennials worry that costs will rise if they wait too long to book their trips. Yet 19% of consumers wait to book their travel a week or less before departure - and millennials are even more likely to procrastinate (Adobe, 2016)
- Consumers plan most in advance for Christmas and Thanksgiving when only 7-10% of flight bookings happen on the week before departure (Adobe, 2016)
Mobile optimized businesses are ahead-
- 45% of connected travelers use their smartphone to book travel activities pre-trip (TripBarometer, 2015)
- 85% of international travelers have some kind of mobile device with them while travelling (Frederic Gonzalo, 2016)
- 8% of travellers book their trip on a mobile device (TripBarometer, 2015)
However, presence of certain factors is also posing hindrance to growth of the industry. One of which is the requirement of high marketing spending to engage and re-target users.
Digital Trends for 2017
Web Push notifications have emerged as an alternative channel of communication, enabling brands to communicate swiftly. They are instant and drive repeat visits, encouraging people to make a purchase. With web push it become easy to segment users based on their behavior, activities and location. This makes it possible to send them relevant notifications in a much more cost effective and timely manner.
Longing for high user re-targeting and conversion rates via mobile and desktop web, many leading brands are now using web push notifications for all their web users.
It’s a known fact that for any business that retaining an existing user is far better than getting a new one. It is likely to cost you lesser time and money. Hence re-targeting comes into the picture. There’s usually a high percentage of users who tend to bounce back without completing the payment procedure. For this most of the travel industry marketers have heavily relied on channels like Display Network Retargeting, Email (only if user has provided email id) to bring these users back. However, all these channels happen to have their own limitations and challenges which has made it easier for web push notifications to stand out as the ultimate re-targeting tool to bring back those bounced users.
How web push can help your hospitality and travel industry business grow
Segment users to re-target by intelligent segmentation
Businesses in the travel and tourism sector thrive on validating customer intent and basis the customer persona, further cross sell them other products. For instance, users booking flight tickets also gets notified about the available hotels eateries in that city. For this purpose Web Push Notifications can be used effectively to target specific users.
By using User Events, you can intelligently segment users based on the activities they perform on your website and send them relevant notifications. This feature is outstanding when it comes to retargeting specific users.
How to update the subscribers about the price drop in fare? For such important and time sensitive updates web push notifications are now being seen as one of the easiest and fastest way to let your users know about those important updates. Thus, the message is least likely to be missed by anyone.
Content marketing driven lead campaigns
Usually, no user would visit your site before doing some basic research. And the best way to ace that research is to invest move towards content marketing as a lead generation strategy. Many brands are now seen to be following this approach, as content marketing involves educating the user about the problem statement and then gradually pulling them through the education funnel. It involves frequent user communication, and drives traffic to your blog.
For content marketing, most of the marketers are increasingly inclining towards web push as a communication channel over email. With response rates up to 25%, user communication is for more impactful.
Announcements for Re-engaging
Web push notifications is becoming a preferred tool specially when marketers quickly want to trigger a notification to inform the travellers. The efficacy of the communication and the response rates obviously improve with targeting and segmentation.
Curiosity builds suspense and encourages users to click on your notifications. Provide a sneak peek of the offer they can avail. Don't give out all the information in the notification in one go. Tit bits of exciting information can leads to clicks. The thirst to know more about the offer and an approaching deadline, works like a charm here.
Give them exciting offers on transport and accommodation. This always excites users. You can create different packages like, pick and drop from airport, free breakfast, arrange sightseeing etc. This is apt for the ones who want to be pampered on their vacation. There are no last minute surprises, and everything is taken care of. All they have to do is show up.
Week End Packages
Occasion/ festival based packages
Gift a package
Customize your package
Reminders and Updates
Send them timely reminders to ensure maximum engagement. Users in their busy schedule might forget they have a flight or the hotel that they have made a booking in. You can even send them details of the hotel, like the hotel’s name and address.
Reminder and alerts
Reward programme for members
Members and loyal users can be given offers and rewards to make them feel special. This triggers a positive response and increases the chances of users transacting. You could give them discounts on flights, on hotels, free coupons for spa in the hotel etc. This could also encourage others to become a member.
Conformation And Feedback
Web Push can also be used for user feedback and pushing out transactional communication. Feedback with web push notifications become super easy. The users can share their feedback in a jiffy!