The Power of Product Data in Online Travel
We don’t know what’s going to happen in the travel industry – it’s changing all the time and constantly presenting new challenges to marketers. What we do know is that accurate, comprehensive product data can help you take advantage of new channels and innovations quickly and in ever more creative ways, helping you become more strategic in your digital marketing. This report highlights how product data can play an important role in some of the biggest areas of digital travel marketing.
Traditional travel brands, airlines, hotels and even those online travel agents that sell their own holiday packages, are now competing with metasearch and review sites to hold the attention of their customer. This report is aimed at brands, like the clients we already help, who need a trusted partner to get their travel products in front of more consumers online.
The buying journey
Google reports that travellers spend an average of 55 minutes
booking a hotel and flights; they visit 17 websites
and click four different search ads per travel search, and 90%
of these travellers use more than one device during the booking process.
According to Google, 65% of (leisure)
travellers will start by researching online, and the top online sources of inspiration are:
Basically, more and more travellers are researching and booking through channels other than your brand’s website. How can you influence these shoppers?
Our answer is: with good product data
– by sending up-to-date, quality information about your products, whether they are hotel rooms, flights or cars for hire, into as many useful marketing channels as possible.
The challenge, of course, is that travel ‘product data’ is generally pretty complicated. As opposed to selling one item in a number of sizes, or an electronic item in three colours, holidays tend to have a large number of combinations and adjustable options, selected by the consumer.
Selling holiday packages means understanding the huge number of combinations of accommodation availability, start and end dates, appropriate travel options, and possible additional extras – and communicating this appropriately to your marketing partners. As this report shows, neglecting the final stage means you could miss out on a massive potential audience.
For example: Luxury travel brand Secret Escapes has just 200 deals on their members-only site at any one time. However, this amounts to around 175,000 holiday combinations – dates, room types, additional features and so on.
Similarly, brands need to understand a wide range of consumer needs, and build out the data that will help them target the right audience with the right products. With spending on ‘big data’ solutions set to increase, it would seem that businesses across every industry are keen to get a better handle on who their customers are and what they want to see.
Without control of their product data, brands will struggle to take advantage of the many emerging marketing channels, and to turn browsers into buyers online.
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