Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Four Trends to Watch for in 2015 - Part 2

It’s all about personalization

Google has been making suggestions based on previous search and purchases for a while now. Your guest today expects personalized recommendations based on his preferences. As someone who needs to travel frequently, I go into a certain OTA application to make my bookings. Whenever I log in to the application, based on my earlier preferences, the site shows my favourite flight and hotel directly and upfront. It saves me lot of time, and as a result I get back to it for all bookings. In other words, they have created a loyal customer in me. All major OTAs today study your spending patterns to predict what you want, and what you're willing to pay for. With the latest technology available in the market place, hotels can collect customer likes and dislikes. Access cookies to personalize the online experience, such as recognizing guests’ name when they revisit and display customized offers and promotions based on their previous searches. Customer intelligence is key to delivering a customized campaign to your guests. Social media provides hotels with vital inputs to map the customer’s state of mind and hence elasticity. The more the revenue manager knows about the price sensitivity of a particular segment, the more he or she is able to price optimally.



Mobile booking taking center-stage

According to a recent PhoCusWright Report, mobile devices will account for 27% of U.S. online bookings this year, up from just 10% in 2013. The report also forecasted that mobile will account for 20% of online bookings in both Asia-Pacific and Europe next year. Consumers do not care whether your priority is on desktop site or application. All they are bothered about is their experience. As they switch from desk top to mobile to tablet, they want to have a seamless experience. Brand experience is not about having a nice website anymore. You need to have a presence in desktop, mobile and application. Nearly 45% travellers travel with two or more devices and they are always connected. Working on multiple platforms will help hotels to track individual-level behavior within and across channels, deriving valuable insights regarding consumer behavior and draw an effective marketing strategy.




Dhiraj Kumar is Associate Product Owner at eRevMax. He is based out of Kolkata and can be reached at dhirajk@erevmax.com
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