There are officially more mobile devices in the world than people and consumers are hungry to use their connectivity at every opportunity for convenience, speed and entertainment. It’s therefore unsurprising to see the likes of Virgin taking advantage of technology to offer a fully personalised travel experience.
Ahead of the curveTwo new travel apps released by Apple and IBM are perfect examples. The Travel Plan app helps plan business travel and recommend potential hotels using the user’s travel history, while the Travel Track app offers push notifications informing travellers of boarding times and connection details. Gmail’s Inbox also schedules trips within its email calendar automatically based on ticket confirmations, and even creates event reminders for the busy traveller. However, more businesses within the travel industry – from hotels and resorts to travel agents and airlines – must follow this lead and utilise innovative technology to stay ahead of the curve. Research shows that only 20 per cent of airlines have adopted this personalised approach to date so, if ever there was a time for travel businesses, large and small, to innovate in order to stay ahead of the curve, that time is now. For smaller businesses in particular, personalisation offers a new and exciting way to add value. This is key to competing with the “Goliaths” in a complex market and will help improve customer experience, to the benefit of holiday-goers the world over.
Delivering the personalised touchWhen it comes to using technology to personalise travel, innovation is key. The days of using off-the-shelf software are long gone and travel businesses which adopt a “good enough” attitude to technology will be left behind by their competitors. Travel businesses which continue to offer innovative USPs to customers will thrive as brand loyalty increases. Read more about the travel industry:
- Digital disruption is an opportunity for travel brands
- Premier Inn changes the definition of room service with Apple Watch integration
An Agile approachIt’s clear that taking a personalised approach to technology, through bespoke software, will set forward-thinking travel businesses apart from their competitors. Innovation and the ability to leave “off-the-shelf” concepts behind is key when it comes to surprising customers with something new, exciting them, and tempting them to buy. In addition, travel businesses that take an Agile approach to software development will find it easier to innovate than their competitors. Agile approaches encourage collaboration throughout the development process, ensuring the latest customer needs, trends and ideas are incorporated into the resulting software. If the whole industry becomes more agile in its approach, it will become possible to facilitate collaboration between all elements of the customer journey, from the travel agent to hotels and local attractions. After all, it’s encapsulating consumer needs from start to finish which is central to providing a truly personalised travel experience. Rowan Welch is account director at Black Pepper Software.
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