How AI-Based Personalization Is Changing The Travel Industry
In this article, we have discussed various practical examples which shall help you understand how AI-based personalization is changing the travel industry.
From reinventing travel marketing by understanding distinctive customer journeys to implement the basics of AI-based personalization, we are trying to show you the What & How of personalization in the travel industry.
With online travel agencies (OTA) that make travel reservations easier than ever, online travel sales have experienced a 10.4% increase between 2017 and 2018 and are expected to reach a huge figure of 817.54 billion US dollars in 2020.
With the industry expanding so fast and marketing technologies evolving at an incredible rate, customer expectations are also growing. The client of the new era has now become intolerant of all kinds of mass marketing content and expects nothing less than an experience of Hyper-Personalization And each brand is now focusing on delivering it by adopting the latest AI-based personalization techniques.
Role of Personalization in the Travel Industry
An American Express study revealed that personalization is so important for the millennial generation that 83% of younger travelers and travel seekers say they would let travel brands track their digital behavior to collect data and provide a more personalized experience. The same study also revealed that 85% of all ages believed that personalization plans and itineraries are more attractive than general mass offers.
Great user experience is one of the most important factors that determine the success of a brand. Deep-level personalization provides users with content that is more related to their individual preferences and circumstances, thereby improving the user experience.
Today, to satisfy and meet the demands of customers for a personalized travel experience, travel marketing specialists are challenged to use AI and overcome generic tools. If your brand cannot meet customer expectations and cannot provide the desired experience, your customers are likely to find and move to another point of sale, travel platform, airline or hotel.
To close this gap, travel companies and, more specifically, travel marketers, can begin to implement personalized interactions with AI marketing. Most travel businesses aim to offer excellent customer service to build a brand reputation, and artificial intelligence technology can help implement it in a wide variety of different ways. For example, AI can be used to customize recommendations, improve personalization and ensure quick response times, even in the absence of a staff member.
Let’s understand more about how AI is helping to reinvent travel marketing by understanding the basics of personalized intention based on unique customer journeys.
1. AI-Powered Chatbots & Online Customer Service Enhancing Personalization
Customers in every industry demand faster response times on online platforms. An IBM study revealed that chatbots can answer more than 80% of standard questions. In the travel and tourism industry, for hotels and other companies, one of the most exciting uses of AI is to assist customers online. Customer service chatbots could be a blessing in the travel industry. In addition to the benefit of scheduling and booking flights, chatbots can help join additional services through an app. If the chatbots are well trained and employed for all emergencies, the passenger can experience a stress-free journey.
There has been a widespread adoption specifically to boost chatbots on websites, social media platforms, and instant messaging applications. If you train well, AI can answer customer questions and provide them with a valuable answer. This is useful when a customer service representative is not available. AI allows businesses to deliver responses at rates that would not be possible for humans.
Example: Sam, the intelligent travel chatbot!
Example: Mezi, the chatbot that was acquired by American Express, can make Personalized recommendations and travel arrangements at the request of customers.
2. Retargeting Campaigns of Hyper-Personalization
You can optimize a remarketing campaign if you segment your customers by rates of conversion likelihood. You can set the retargeting for the most promising travelers by making higher bids on those who are more likely to make a purchase. It is possible to direct ads to users through services such as Google AdWords. Online users who have previously interacted with a business similar to yours in the travel domain, such as clicking on an online ad, visiting a travel site, writing particular travel keywords or interacting with travel booking contents of trips on social media platforms like Facebook.
While online viewers are open to receiving redirected ads, up to 25% admit that they like to be reminded of products and services, which they were seeing previously. Personalization marketing offers many advantages for retargeting campaigns. It also ensures that marketing budgets are spent on people with a high possibility of making a reservation. It can also serve as a reminder for people to use discounts and exclusive offers, for example, cheap hotels and flight deals, from sites they have previously been browsing.
Example: The retargeting ad campaign by Expedia on Facebook.
The subtitle, “time is ticking…,” is excellent as it creates urgency for the customer since there are only a few days left for the New Year.
Example: Cheapoflights.com reduces its price offers and retargets them to customers who continue to revisit them for a certain period.
Here is another great example of a highly personalized email campaign by Easyjet.
3. Data-based on Personalization Recommendations
Personalized recommendations based on behavioral data are one of the most impactful ways to drive the travel business. With advances in custom algorithms and machine learning tools, recommendation engines improve cross-selling and up-selling sales opportunities. By collecting relevant information from recent customer searches, you can create a recommendation algorithm to offer suggestions for add-ons for your next trip.
The highly intelligent recommendations in terms of the size of the room they opt for, the hotels or the views of the rooms that best fit your budget, etc. play the right chord, pushing customers towards the transaction. The data collected by AI can also be used to target customers through SMS, email, social media & other channels, in addition to improving the likelihood of reservations.
Example: Utrip.com allows you to filter your preferences to create a personalized itinerary.
Example: After Expedia discovered that people search around 48 times on travel sites before booking a flight, it created a new flight recommendation engine that simplifies the process by analyzing customers’ previous booking patterns and offers more personalized recommendations. relevant to better alternative routes.
4. Social Media Marketing (SMM) to Pick up Steam
Social media is a place where content is often used and built so that interactions feel more personal. It is one of the most common places where personalization marketing techniques can be executed well to interact with potential customers directly. In particular, Facebook and Instagram offer a wide range of tools to target and redirect specific users through ads. To maintain its relevance, online travel agencies cannot afford not to use social media to show their abilities to provide their customers with unique experiences that one may have trouble securing without professional help.
Entrepreneur magazine published an article that suggests travel agencies are still responsible for 55% of all airline reservations. Even more for cruise reservations and travel packages. This has a lot to do with the Social Media Marketing (SMM) model, one that can benefit greatly in Tourism Marketing. Travel agencies should make it their priority to attract millennials and meet their needs on their social media platforms as they face more and more travel population. Personalization & AI tools can also be implemented in other ways for companies to create automatic responses for comments that address specific questions or complaints. If done well at that time, the use of AI can serve as an effective marketing strategy. Personalization also opens up the potential for travel brands by using some complex algorithms to show a more human side through promotional emails, content messages & email offers and other event invitations.
Facebook Example: TUI, the world’s largest travel and tourism agency, is also one of the best performing travel agencies on the Facebook network. It often uses a social media management tool to find out where your customers are from.
TUI, the largest travel and tourism agency in the world, is also one of the best performing travel agencies in the Facebook network. It often uses a social media management tool to find out where your customers are from.
Instagram Example: SmartFlyer has over 19.9k followers and knows how to take great pictures.
Pinterest example: Unlike Instagram, Pinterest is an aspiration planning site, which makes Pinterest as a big part of social media marketing for travel brands.
5. Leveraging AI-Powered Emails
A study by eMarketer.com revealed that in several industries, 80% of personalization is distributed by email. Since preliminary data science work has been completed, targeted emails are a relatively simple approach to execute without the need for additional engineering effort. Perhaps targeted emails are the most obvious ways within the travel and tourism industry for personalization marketing. With the latest developments in email as a channel (for example, dynamic emails in Gmail), you run acquisitions, retention and retargeting campaigns.
For example, a hotel can send an email to a customer before their anniversary remembering a previous stay, encouraging them to make reservations to the customer again or travel companies can send a marketing email to a customer on their birthday, providing a special service flight offers that would encourage them to enjoy a trip.
Check out Netcore Smartech’s Artificial Intelligence Marketing feature.
Example: Cape Tour Insiders, a travel company, is using a person’s name to draw their attention to an offer to build an email list.
Example: When booking a trip to Glasgow, Jukebox offers discount offers for hotels in Glasgow in their previous emails.
The demand for personalization in the travel industry will only increase over time. The human-driven personalization cannot scale enough to meet those demands. Besides, the amount of data and tools available will be overwhelming for marketing specialists. AI is complex but powerful and offers endless marketing implementation opportunities.
It is important to keep in mind that the implementation of AI in tourism will cause a massive change in traditional operating models. So remember to manage the growing disorder to build a convenient, simple and personalized travel and tourism brand. It is also essential to keep in mind that, in terms of the use of enabling technologies, the travel industry is far ahead of many traditional commerce industries. Without technologies such as data science, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, you would not have access to the correct customer data in real-time to provide personalized updates.
In summary, AI marketing solutions offer a compelling set of tools to help travel brands change from a static world to an era in which each customer will be recognized for their unique and dynamic personality.
To understand how an AI-based growth marketing platform like Smartech, can help you achieve your personalization goals, contact us today.