Leading travel retailers told the Abta Travel Convention that personalised offers are not just helping to improve conversion rates, but up-sell opportunities as well.
Barrhead Travel chairman Bill Munro told delegates that it’s in-house ‘Nevis’ customer relationship management technology did more than just offering bespoke product.
He said it worked much like the way supermarkets do in anticipating demand so that the travel agency “knows on a Friday night what customers will be buying on a Saturday morning”.
“Without such a system I do not think we can truly say we are doing personalisation,” he said.
Munro said it finds that when people book their core holiday components the last thing they want to think about it adding other elements like car hire or attraction tickets.
So the Nevis system allows Barrhead to go back to its customers to offer additional products at the right time.
Alistair Daly, On The Beach chief marketing officer, said it had not cracked personalisation yet.
However, he revealed that early signs are that deals that have been personalised to the individual requirements of the customer covert at double the rate than those that have not.
“It is one the biggest challenges, but it is one of the biggest opportunities for us today. One of the problems was have we have so much data, there’s too much.”
Daly said On The Beach sees 70 million searches for holidays on its website a year, 38 million of which are resulting in product being placed in a basket.
However, the retailer will record just 900,000 actual sales next year, according to CAA figures. “Do the mathematics; conversion in travel is pretty poor,” he said.
Daly added On The Beach has its own technology and algorithms based on activity on its site to enable it to become more personal.
“One of the challenges is the different platforms consumers come from.
“People talk about crappy conversion rates on mobile but a consumer in the beach holiday space may take 70 to 90 days to plan, search and book and across device.
“We don’t look at things from the platform basis on conversion rates you should be looking at blended conversion rates.”