3 Travel Technology Trends You Need To Know About Now: EyeforTravel Europe 2017 Takeaways

Last week we’ve discussed some of the key subjects covered during this year’s EyeforTravel Europe conference. Time for part two: three travel technology trends you need to read about to stay on top of the digital game:

 

1. Data-driven Engagement

‘Data is key, data is gold’

Emilie Mouquot (Viator, a Tripadvisor Company)

‘How to Create a Localisation Strategy that Sells your Product’ speech at EyeforTravel Europe 2017

In the last post, we’ve discussed the importance of mobile in engaging with travellers. But the prevalence of mobile is also a big enabler for gathering data. As Bobby Healy (CarTrawler) said during his speech for ‘A Digital Experience That Enhances Your Physical Travel Product’ session, mobile gives brands an enormous opportunity to be with the customers everywhere they go. To know their location. Know their behaviour. Know they’re going to a hotel even if they didn’t communicate that with a brand. Yes, it’s pretty scary, but as Bobby said – it’s not about tracking. It’s about relevancy’.

During the session, Guy Stephenson (Gatwick Airport) also revealed results from their customer survey: travellers want airport experiences to be relevant to them. This is one of the travel technology trends that seemed to be mentioned again and again during this year’s conference: Relevancy of the product and personalisation of campaigns is absolutely paramount. The ability to send sales alerts only to a specific group of people, engaging with consumers based on their location, or communicating with guests based on their previous experience with a brand, is why data and real-time decision making is so important. And why geolocation is one of the technologies that can help you master the complexities of creating a localised strategy.

Data is an absolute key, but as Roland Schütz (Deutsche Lufthansa) said during the session – you need to remember one thing. It’s your customers that own their data, not you or your company. So always remember to be 100% transparent and place permissions and preferences in the hands of your customers.  

travel technology trends

Roland Schütz (Deutsche Lufthansa): ‘A Digital Experience That Enhances Your Physical Travel Product

2. The Rise of Sticky, Engaging and Viral Content

Customers are less and less loyal, so you need to make an extra effort to keep each customer and make them want to come back. Building destination content prior to the trip is one way to do that, according to Rémy Merckx (Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group). It inspires them, increases engagement, and most importantly – makes them feel loved. And it’s a wild world out there, we all need a bit of love from time to time. 

Another great example was shown by Hugo Burge and Pia Vemmelund from Momondo during their ‘Bridge Technology with the Human Touch to Inspire Direct Bookings’ presentation. Their ‘DNA Journey’ video aimed to help people to ‘stay curious’ and find diversity within themselves has become a viral hit with almost 17M views, while hugely impacting Momondo’s number of direct bookings. This is how viral in the travel sector should be done:

3. Commercial Partnerships to Stay on Top of the Digital Game

Commercial Partnerships is one of the key travel technology trends that have been widely discussed during the EyeforTravel Europe 2017 conference. As mentioned by Susan Black (CIE Tours) & Richard Harris (Intent Media, Inc)  in ‘Commercial Partnerships that Thrive in a Digital and Data Driven World’ session, the most valuable technology is one that delivers knowledge about the consumer. Technology that enables travel brands to gather feedback and do better, instantly. Technology that delivers relevance. And we couldn’t agree more. 

Some of the trendiest partnerships in the travel industry are the ones between search engine / inspirational search apps and commerce. Examples? TripAdvisor with hotels for instant bookings. Google with airlines (e.g. Lufthansa) for direct flights booking. Ryanair with CarTrawler for car rental bookings. The list is long, but the moral of this story is one: being unidirectional is not enough anymore. Inspirational search apps want to look more like commerce apps. Commerce apps want to have some search engine functionality to draw customers in. One-stop solution is what everyone in travel is trying to achieve. 

But the convergence of commerce and inspirational search is not the only type of partnership on the block. There is a lot of exciting start-ups that will help you start your new digital chapter with a bang. As Antoine de Kerviler (Amadeus IT Group) pointed out in ‘Partnerships: Enhance Physical Trips with Digital Tools’ panel discussion: the bigger the company, the higher the complexity and the slower it moves. 

 

‘Partnering with start-ups is a great way to foster innovation’,

Antoine de Kerviler (Amadeus IT Group)

‘Partnerships: Enhance Physical Trips with Digital Tools’

 

PS  No need to look far, we’re right here     

Geolocation is in fact one of these technologies that tick all the right boxes. It gives you data. It allows you to gather location-relevant customer feedback. It helps you to thrive in mobile marketing. And engage with your customers via one thing they care about more than their wallets. While geolocation was not the main topic of ‘Partnerships: Enhance Physical Trips with Digital Tools’ panel session, Tao Tao (GetYourGuide) admitted geolocation is hugely important for them and they are already experimenting with some exciting geofencing platforms.

Whether you partner with innovative start-ups or some of the big boys (see Spotify x Last Minute case study below), there are three things to look for in partnerships according to Richard Harris (Intent Media):

  1. Bigger and Better Data
  2. Real-time decisions (to modify user experience and satisfy their needs)
  3. Long-term success

 

Travel Technology Trends: a Case Study on Commercial Partnerships from EyeforTravel 2017:

A great case study was presented by Alessandra di Lorenzo (Lastminute.com) as part of ‘Commercial Partnerships that Thrive in a Digital and Data Driven World‘ session. Their research showed that a majority of their customers use Spotify. So what’s the best way to respond to these findings? Create a partnership!

That’s how ‘Music Makes You Travel’ was born. A fantastic project with a number of interactive maps, playlists and podcasts – each linked to a different destination. After all:

 

‘Partnerships are about making customer experience richer’

Alessandra di Lorenzo (Lastminute.com)

‘Commercial Partnerships that Thrive in a Digital and Data Driven World’

 

Image Source: mandmglobal.com

 

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