February 13, 2018, by Gilad Berenstein, CEO of Utrip
Travel companies trying to thrive in this digital age seem to struggle with one fundamental worry: how to differentiate oneself in a crowded marketplace.
Travelers are increasingly privy to a myriad of search tools and options, and it might seem initially difficult to compete with all that’s available. There is, however, one key method that every travel company must adopt as soon as possible in order to overcome that competition: personalization.
An increasing number of statistics demonstrates just how ubiquitous personalization has become. In a recently-published guidebook by Qubit, Forrester's Principal Analyst for eBusiness & Channel Strategy, Brendan Witcher is quoted as saying, "consumers today are looking for personalized experiences in every part of their lives."
But what exactly does that mean, and how can travel companies incorporate it into their strategies?
When thinking about this, consider this statement from Qubit: “Personalization means making every interaction with customers meaningful.”
The aforementioned Principal Analyst from Forrester, Brendan Witcher also states that "you have to be able to assess, in real-time, what the consumer is looking for."
Use these statements as guiding principles when thinking about ways to personalize. Create meaningful interactions based on assessments of what customers need at that moment. This is at the core of personalization.
Travel has never been a one-size-fits-all kind of industry. However, innovations in technology have now meant that travelers are demanding better, tailored experiences more than ever before - and they expect their demands to be met.
Still not convinced? Consider the following statistics from the Qubit:
- 56% of travelers agree that it is important for travel sites to personalize experiences
- 73% of families agree that personalization is important
- 69% of millennials agree personalization is important
The statistics don’t lie. This is not a phase or any sort of trend that is likely to die down. Across demographics, travelers are clearly demonstrating that what they value most from their travel experience is personalization.
The idea that the journey has been tailored to exactly their likes and preferences, rather than just a generic experience, is what they are searching for. This creates an opportunity for travel companies, who can differentiate themselves by eliminating the need for travelers to search through hundreds of sites to build their own travel plans. Customers will appreciate (and reward you) when they can find something that is uniquely tailored to them, especially if it’s easy and efficient.
In fact, personalization is the only strategy that makes sense. Companies that are able to adapt are the ones primed for long-term success in today’s digital world. Personalized services establish loyal customer relationships, and the numbers correspond with this. Qubit found that "targeted experiences are 3x better at driving uplift in revenue per visitor than non-targeted experiences."
This shows just how important it is to create personalized interactions with your customers. And if that’s not enough, Qubit also says that "89% of digital strategy professionals are prioritizing investments in this area." That number is sure to increase.
In order to beat the rest of the market, you need to start thinking about how to incorporate personalization into your own digital capabilities as soon as possible. This trend is here to stay, and it’s only going to become more important in the eyes of consumers. Provide travelers with easy-to-use, efficient solutions that are grounded in personalization. That is the key to success in travel today.