New ways of influencing the online travel shopper are emerging. Improved user experience, mobile, merchandising, user-generated content, post-purchase services and more could be the next key loyalty drivers that matter most to online shoppers.
Using the GetinHere platform, Travel agencies can harness proximity technology to enable travellers to book hotels, rental vehicles, tickets for trains, airlines, buses and theatres; and even dinner reservations. A value add service and a perfect excuse to further develop your relationship with your venue partners.
The use of mobile for travel bookings
According to Pew Research Centre, the online travel sales worldwide will achieve 755 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.
Mobile users have made extensive use of booking services:
- In 2016, 51.8% of travelers booking trips online will do so via mobile devices
- By 2019, mobile sales could represent 46 percent of digital travel sales
Furthermore, mobile devices play an integral role during travel. A research by Tripadvisor ( Mobile & Social Survey) finds that 87 percent of global travellers use mobile devices while travelling and 61% of them report using Social Media while traveling. So how travellers use their smartphones on holidays?
- 61% rely on smartphones for accessing and sharing in social media
- 58% is looking for restaurants and hotels
- 27% is looking for things to do
- 24% is reading reviews
Driving mobile bookings
Proximity marketing seeks to create amazing and unique experiences for online shoppers. Upon a tourist’s entry into a particular zone or establishment, such as a hotel that the tourist has already booked, travel agents are able to send announcements and offers regarding restaurants, events and other attractions in the vicinity.
An effective proximity marketing campaign goes beyond merely detecting the presence of a mobile device and its user. With GetinHere, Online travel agencies can collect information such as the traveller’s age, gender, most visited places, preferences and travel behaviours to target travel services and deals. For instance, tourists who enjoy music and festivals may get a push notification if they enter a geofence (see below). Someone looking for adventure at a beach area can receive messages for parasailing services…and so on.
With a mobile app, a traveller receives an alert, message or offer upon entering a particular geographic zone, or virtual fence. The mobile app allows the travel agency to detect the traveller’s presence within the fence.
Geofencing works for travel agents trying to attract customers in a general area, normally at least 100 meters away from a place. For example, upon approach to the vicinity of an airport, a visitor may receive mobile notifications to book airline tickets, visit gift shops or rent a vehicle. In particular zone of a city, village or other tourist destination, a geofencing can be used to drive awareness and enable visitors to book local restaurants or hotels; buy tickets for attractions, museums, concerts or other events; or shop retail malls and outlets.
Our partner venues may install small beacons (approx. £5 each and 15cm x 15cms) for visitors who enter a specific place, often indoors, rather than a general area. A beacon is a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) device that transmit signals normally up to 50 meters. Smartphones can detect in-venue beacons when the user pass by. They can be used for example, when passengers enter a train or bus station or airport.
Beacons can also discern if a user is near (less than 2m), intermediate (less than 5m) or far away (between 5m and 50m), thereby giving the opportunity for venues to deliver more relevant push notifications, for example, if you are standing by the USA section in a tourist office you may receive notifications on discounted flights to New York.
Beacons could be used to advertise deals on tickets. Guests in a hotel or resort can receive personalized offers, such as discounts with affiliated restaurants, nightclubs, retail stores and museums, through their mobile devices.
GetinHere can also turn an employees phone into a beacon to perform the same. This is a unique additional service we offer.
As with geofencing, connection to a beacon requires the user to download the GetinHere app, which is free on iOS & Android.
Proximity Marketing for connected travelers
With proximity marketing, advertising reaches the tourist who is not aware of what he is going to need; hasn’t decided whether to take a self-guided journey that requires a rental car.
Proximity marketing affords flexibility and convenience for planning vacations or trips. In many cases, tourists can avoid the need to decide on the itineraries and make reservations before the trip. Now, travellers can explore on the go once they arrive and choices and arrangements can be made at the destination. They can buy tickets to nearby or area shows, tours or other events or reserve rental cars.
By using online data, mobile app data and location information, Travel agents can provide personalized recommendations to consumers for booking additional services, enhance customer relationships with a sustainable brand loyalty and enhanced customer lifetime value (CLV).