The end goal for travel and hospitality brands used to be securing a booking. Now, in an increasingly competitive market, many are placing a greater focus on securing the best all-round ‘experience’.
In fact, this emphasis on customer experience is so high that it has now collectively overtaken customer acquisition as the biggest business priority in travel.
This finding comes from Econsultancy’s Digital Trends in the Travel and Hospitality Sector report in association with Adobe, which is based on a survey of over 600 marketing executives from OTA’s, transportation, hospitality and restaurant companies.
Today, mobile represents roughly one third of travel-related sales, with the mobile share growing around 15% year over year.
As a result, adapting the customer experience to mobile and personal tech will be a key characteristic of successful travel brands in the years to come.
Online travel agencies are 56% more likely than other sectors to cite data as the greatest barrier to deliveringpersonalised experiences.
So, while these organisations might possess the ability to collect sufficient information on customer’s cross-device usage, this data often remains siloed and therefore unused.
When it comes to industry pressures, the biggest competition for OTA’s comes from search engines (48%) as well as other online travel agents and meta engines (45%). Meanwhile, low-cost providers are the single biggest threat for both transportation and restaurant companies.
Rather, the key to success is differentiation through customer experience.
Alongside industry pressures, the rise of consumer technology (such as smartphone use and cross-device browsing) has also had a marked impact on the industry.
However, 48% of OTA respondents see it as having a positive effect compared to just 22% who think it has had a negative one.
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