Travelers love having choices and will gravitate toward travel brands that give them options. But they’ll be most loyal to the travel brand that consistently presents them with the options that are best for them. Relevant, personalized and curated. According to a recent study by Accenture, 67% of travelers want brands to use their historical travel data to help them make better travel decisions, and 75% are more likely to buy from brands if they are recognized, remembered, and receive relevant recommendations based on their travel purchase history.
Not Just More Options, But the Right Options
Simply having the widest array of inventory isn’t enough – that’s what Google is for. Travel brands that want to inspire true loyalty will lean into the curation and personalization aspects of the travel offering, providing customers with choices that are tailored to their specific interests and informed by previous interactions with your brand.
For example, if your hotel brand were to consistently present a guest with an array of inventory curated to her interests, chances are that guest will turn to your brand for more and more of her travel needs. In other words, if you help her find something unique, relevant and “just for her” needs, you’ll earn her respect – and a much bigger share of her travel spend.
Partner with the Right Supplier Network
The first step to curating and personalizing inventory is having access to a selection of high-margin travel products and services that you can package and sell. This, of course, allows you to offer your own core product or service. However, to capture and keep loyal customers you also need to be able to directly sell – at a minimum – flights, hotels, cars, activities, or insurance (ideally at negotiated rates to maintain your profit margin). But trying to partner with hundreds or even dozens of individual suppliers is both inefficient and extremely resource-intensive. The good news is you can turn to aggregators and tech platforms – like Switchfly’s – that give you immediate access to a vast array of travel inventory at direct rates. The result? You can offer a much wider selection of relevant options to your customers – and with higher yields as well.
Embrace Data – Especially Loyalty Data
In order to provide curated and personalized offerings, you need insights into your customers’ behaviors and preferences – and that comes from data. Loyalty program data is critical for understanding the customer and driving program strategies; loyalty program members are incentivized to provide personal data to join a program and re-supply their member information during travel booking to earn points or other types of rewards.
But even without any prior booking data or personally identifiable information, as a travel brand you’ll already know plenty about your customers, for example:
- June 7, 2019 |
- David Elliott
- March 27, 2019 |
- Justin Steele
- January 14, 2019 |
- Switchfly Marketing
- August 27, 2018 |
- Justin Steele
- August 11, 2018 |
- Doug Gaccione
For travel merchants, having a loyalty program in place offers more opportunities to engage customers across more channels. But the course of loyalty is transforming. It’s no longer “travel on my airline, stay in my hotel, or buy my product” but “buy and be loyal to my brand.”
- July 30, 2018 |
- Matt Blackmon
Over the next 20 years, global demand for air travel will nearly double to 7.2 billion passengers, while inflight broadband connectivity will add $30B of ancillary revenue for airlines by 2035. This generational wave of travelers will be open to packaged experiences far beyond just the airline ticket or hotel room, and their sheer numbers represent a new era of global travel that will radically increase opportunities for airlines, hotels and other travel merchants, strengthen loyalty and grow ancillary revenue.
- July 17, 2018 |
- Glenn Wastyn
How will changes in travel technology impact your business through the next decade? This question is a central focus for us at Switchfly, as we leverage technology to create new revenue opportunities and stronger brand loyalty for travel merchants. The answer, we believe, depends not necessarily on keeping up with the pace of change, but rather leading the way in creating more value for your passengers and customers.
- March 12, 2018 |
- Katya Lopez
The travel industry is complex and complicated. We could even call it what it really is: messy. Billions of travelers, millions of flights, thousands of hotels, hundreds of countries, dozens of apps per phone, a few major GDS systems and one question for travel technology: how do we connect everything seamlessly? This is a question Switchfly wants to discuss at The Phocuswright Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, November 7-9.
- November 3, 2017 |
- Katya Lopez