Personalisation can help smaller online travel agents stand out from the crowd and take on the likes of Booking.com and Expedia.
The two travel booking giants are reported to control 80% of the online travel marketplace, which is forecast to grow 10% this year.
Relationship marketing hub Optimove’s chief executive Pini Yakuel said the web is a “tough environment” for smaller brands but said they can eat into the big boys’ market share.
He said: “Booking.com and Expedia are doing to travel what Amazon has done to retail, shaking up the market and rebuilding it around their service. At the moment, large OTAs do little to show a personalised touch.
“Marketing communications often promote options customers are uninterested in, or continue long after travel has been booked. Brands can, and should, carve a space for themselves and charm customers.
“To stand out from the dominators of this space, providers need to prove to their customers that they are understood and that their wants and needs are accommodated. Using insights from customer data, these brands can offer a relevant, personalised service that brings a convenient user experience which matches their needs.”
Relationship marketing experts at Optimove found that customers who spend a long time planning holidays and researching competitors spend more once they book and that customers who take longer to make their first booking after registering with an OTA end up making higher-value purchases.
They concluded that brands who understand patterns like this can tailor their offering to different kinds of customers, such as by offering cautious big spenders a VIP package.