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Personalise or die: The future of the travel industry hangs on its ability to harness data to create personal experiences

Profile Photo By: Carsten Hennig
April 6, 2017

Personalise or die: The future of the travel industry hangs on its ability to harness data to create personal experiences

Hong Kong – 6 April 2017 –
A new report by SapientRazorfish, part of the Publicis.Sapient platform, has highlighted the APAC travel industry’s need to embrace personalisation and improve loyalty. According to the report, titled Asia’s Evolving Online Travel Market, travel industry leaders agree data is the power seat of loyalty because it enables personalisation, but more than 4 out of 5 of the region’s decision makers recognise they are ill-equipped to provide customer value and increase loyalty with their current data analytics capabilities.

Seton Vermaak, Travel and Hospitality Lead SEA, SapientRazorfish, provided expert commentary for the report and said, “The quintessentially Asian quest for self-improvement, coupled with the disruption of the sharing economy, is helping reimagine Asia’s travel and hospitality sector. Loyalty, once the reliable backbone of traditional travel brands, has morphed into an almost unrecognisable new form.”

He continued, “There’s a surge towards data analytics in Asia’s travel sector. Why? Because of the shift towards personalisation. Travelers expect a personalised experience from every brand they encounter. Travel is personal. Without knowing your customer it’s impossible to provide the personalised service they’ve come to expect.”

The Report Highlighted:

Data analytics is the most dominant area of focus for Asia’s travel industry in 2017. Almost 80% of business leaders report data analytics as an area of focus for the year, this is a consequence of the increasing levels of competition amongst travel companies in Asia-Pacific. 85% of travel leaders are planning to increase customer loyalty by improving their data analytics capabilities.

Discovering a customer’s travel and shopping preferences is now a real-time activity. This, along with more emphasis on segmentation, demonstrates a focus on creating personalised experiences for the customer. Real-time analytics of online behaviour has leapfrogged traditional areas of focus such as past purchase behaviour, and this is one notable example of the ways in which the APAC travel industry is maturing.

In 2017, mobile is the new hunting ground for Asia’s travel industry with more than 75% of travel brands now working with mobile solution providers. Travel brands are forming a single view of their customers. More than 70% of travel brands are optimising for a more mobile and seamless end-to-end customer experience.

Partnerships will also play an important role in the creation and dissemination of content in 2017. Expect to see more collaborations with media platforms for extended reach. In a smart move, decision makers will partner with media platforms to motivate travelers, and distinguish themselves from competitors.

Social proof is the leading tactic used by travel brands to build trust when booking on mobile. 70% of brands use reviews to make customers feel comfortable and confident when booking.

Traditionally, the areas of inspiration and research have been a priority for the travel sector but in 2017 the focus will shift to delivering an optimal travel experience from research and planning, through to post trip. Businesses need to increase traveller lifetime value with a more compelling value proposition through digital experience or service utility.

Asia’s Evolving Online Travel Market was generated after interviewing 100 senior travel executives across the APAC region, including Vice Presidents of Marketing and Director of Digital Marketing. The report offers critical insight into some of the biggest challenges faced by the online travel industry in 2017-2018, as well as benchmarking the industry response.

Read the full report here:


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