There is a certain notion getting prevalent in online travel businesses that the marketers are quite lazy. However, travel is a rather fun product that actually sells itself. If you are comparing to sell the once-in-a-lifetime experience to the customers, then you need to focus on different aspects of what drives the customers. However, there are various inherent challenges that are faced by online travel businesses. This industry is quite fast-evolving with the increasing competition along with fluctuating trends as well as a particular vulnerability for the disruption in different sizes and shapes ranging from political instability of small businesses which use brand new technologies.
This means that they is quite a large room for growth and rewards for different innovations. Travel app development is one of the breakthroughs that this industry is witnessing. Travel apps make it easier for online travel businesses to streamline their work processes and provide a seamless experience to the travellers. However, the different challenges faced by online travel businesses and their solutions are:
1. Tackling the Experience of Omni-Channel
When it comes to online travel businesses, it comprises of the disseminated path that a consumer takes to purchase by passing through different digital as well as offline touch points. For this, Google has coined the term, micro-moments, recently, in order to describe these distinct touch points as well as ways that the customers consume the content online. For marketers, it is becoming quite an increasing effort to effectively handle the ever-growing number of different channels and ways with which the consumer can easily interact with the given brand.
The rise of mobile devices has also led to fracturing the traditional consumer journey. This leaves a disseminated path to buy and an abundance of ways in order to get there. For it to become successful, the companies have to understand how exactly to reach their consumers across different touch points as they remain on their decision-making process. A web and mobile development company need to factor these touch points in developing online travel applications.
For travel marketers, this particular omni-channel challenge is quite tricky. The mobile adaptation in the travel industry is quite high in comparison to other industries with almost one-third of e-commerce transactions now done on mobile. Along with this, various new technologies have emerged that includes voice search, automated bots and virtual reality. Despite the obvious fact that these technologies have the inherent potential to assist the businesses to remove different pain points from travel, a lot of brands are quite slow in adopting them.
2. Increasing Demand for Personalization
Personalization is considered to be a major topic in the travel industry. Firstly, there is certainly a higher demand for various personalized experiences. Tailor-made travel isn’t an exclusive thing to the luxury end of this market, and it has become much more accessible. Travellers now want exclusivity that they can boast in front of their friends and there is a significant growth of disruptors like Airbnb that offers personal and authentic experiences that forces the travel operators to look way beyond their different traditional offerings. Online booking app development that results in apps like Airbnb app is the need of the hour.
Another aspect of personalization is in terms of marketing, especially online, where the customers are now expecting a seamless booking experience which is based on their own requirements. However, there isn’t a large number of travel businesses that are doing personalization, but those who are doing it now see a significant uplift in their conversion rate.
3. The Imminent Rise of the Online Travel Agents
It is quite difficult to outline the challenges in travel marketing and then ignore the massive shift from the various traditional travel agencies to online travel businesses. For travel brand, this may often result in lesser investment on the ground sales teams and spending more time on ensuring the product information to be easily accessible to the customers through online feeds.
A lot of businesses have to balance working with online travel agents and also encourage direct bookings. The difficulty with this is that they don’t have the OTAs’ big budgets in order to improve the overall user experience of these different websites and even tackle the conversion rate optimization and much more. Also, strict rate parity contracts certainly prevent them from providing their services for cheaper on their online travel solutions.
Most of the travel operators as well as accommodation businesses can’t actually compete in the search results against the market leaders like Booking.com and Expedia. Hence, the only chance that online travel businesses have is to encourage direct bookings in order to focus on repeat customers, utilize social channels and also employ various direct marketing techniques like email marketing. Potent remarketing campaigns are another great way to encourage potential users away from these online travel agents and back onto the website of the brand.
Here we have mentioned the various challenges in online travel marketing, but in reality, these are considered as opportunities. It all comes down to grasping these opportunities. Travel app development is the way forward in this industry. The travel industry is certainly regarded as among the most innovative industry, and we witness businesses employing new technologies and techniques to overcome these challenges.