In the process of converting lookers into bookers, personalization is fast becoming an important differentiator. According to a recent Mindtree study, 78% of travelers have bought online based on personalized promotions they have not bought before. Consumers want to see content tailored to them. Once you know what your audience wants, how do you know what to show them?
Research from Northeastern University tells us that the two most measurable components that impact personalization are search queries and the user’s IP address. This information can be enhanced with data from social media sites, loyalty programs, tracking cookies and similar data that provides a snapshot of the user or persona. This gives booking sites an opportunity to put more personalized and engaging content in front of travelers at every stage of the attribution cycle.
Travel companies are using Big Data and innovating to create a better customer experience right from the beginning of the planning process. WayBlazer, for example, creates solutions for businesses that merchandise travel, enabling them to personalize hotel recommendations, insights on activities and more. Using this type of solution that relies on consumer data will result in increased bookings for your property.
So how does one know what images to show specific personas? That comes from lots of A/B testing and continually tweaking the algorithm. A simple example would be from a search query looking for a honeymoon vacation – knowing just that information, one could assume the content shown will focus on romance as opposed to family or group travel. IcePortal’s PrecICE technology, for example, helps hoteliers curate their visuals by adding contextually relevant and compounding meta-tags to each image. So a photo of the hotel pool can also include tags that identify a couple of younger adults having drinks at the pool bar at sunset.
Research from TripBarometer’s December 2015 study says that online photos and videos influenced 79% of people looking to book a hotel. This in conjunction with the effect of personalization means the internet is starting to fulfill its destiny to the vehicle for one to one marketing, and that the hotelier is going to have to curate their content to better engage with specific personas.
Leads who are presented with personalized content produce a 20% increase in sales (DemandGen Report,) making the power of personalization hard to ignore. Considering the ever-changing landscape of the hospitality industry, it is worth exploring for hoteliers looking to step up their game and increase their booking conversion.