Travel sellers are located at an important axis in the travel industry: with travel providers and the wider market on one side, and travelers and customers on the other. To succeed in 2020, travel sellers need to understand both sides equally. They need to monitor a market that’s constantly in flux, and stay in touch with a customer that’s constantly asking for more.
To help you stay ahead of the curve, Amadeus has compiled an expert summary of the insights you need. We’ll discuss the key trends for the year ahead, the main challenges facing travel sellers, and how to build a sales strategy that’s destined for success.
A Market In Flux
The travel market continues to evolve before our eyes. We’re seeing key trends disrupt the way travel sellers communicate to their audiences, and the way travelers engage with travel brands too.
- The rise of mobile, with travel marketers planning to spend 45% of their digital advertising budgets on mobile this year. Travel sellers that don’t optimize their sites for mobile and offer a booking app will stand to lose traffic at an astounding rate. Mobile offers revenue opportunities too. Among younger generations and emerging economies, the smartphone has usurped the laptop as the travel research, booking and content sharing platform of choice and mobile travel sales are predicted to make up 50% of all sales by 2021, and a value of $108bn.Also, AI and machine learning will further improve travel sellers’ mobile offering, allowing organizations to deliver with the speed and efficiency that would be impossible manually.
- The superiority of search, with SEO still proving king among travel sellers. Indeed, travel sellers are still spending 60% of their search budgets on SEO. SEM continues to grow in competitivity, meaning those that want to leverage SEM should rely on data to continuously identify where the opportunities for ROI from both paid and organic search approaches lie.
- The rising investment in social media ads is another driving force, with 77% of travel sellers arguing that social media is among their top 3 most effective advertising channels. Social media isn’t just a useful advertising avenue for travel marketers, but the inclusion of these platforms in travel campaigns is being actively welcomed by their creators too. Additionally, the rise of the super app will be an important trend in 2020. A single app that includes social media, shopping, dining, rooms, taxis and tickets, will be a huge boost to tour operators, for whom having content all in one place is vital for ease and convenience.
The Travel Seller Challenge
For travel sellers seeking to drive higher traffic acquisition and cement their market share, the current climate presents specific challenges to be overcome. Competition is high, and customer expectations are even higher. Thankfully, by pinpointing those specific challenges, they can be overcome by:
- Choosing the right vendor to support you on your traffic acquisition journey. With around 7000 different marketing technology providers to choose from, the options can be overwhelming. Rather than investing in endless different products, each with different operating systems and additional requirements for maintenance, select a solution that caters to all your needs in one platform.
Rocket Launching Sales
In light of such a travel ecosystem, ensuring steady sales growth is about staying relevant. Follow a three-step plan to making sure your content reaches the right customer at the right time:
- Join the dots between data sources in order to fuel a customer-centric digital advertising campaign. Think of your strategy as a living animal that needs constant feeding with data from multiple origins. These multiple data streams can be managed with the help of an all-in-one specialist tool, rather than relying on single-clink strategies, or combining multiple tools.
- Tailor your offering to what customers want to stay relevant. Reports show this is an area of low-confidence for travel sellers, with data showing that only 36% of travel executives rated their company’s current personalization initiative highly. In particular, when trying to capture the younger market, personalization isn’t an accessory, it’s a must. In 2020, for example, we’re seeing solo travel is on the rise, especially among women. In addition, sustainable travel is becoming an increasingly pressing concern across the demographics. A shift in customer priorities is inevitable so its vital travel sellers stay alert and embrace the changing expectations and demands.
- Communicate cross channel to ensure your products meet the audiences that matter. This means keeping all offers up-to-date and bookable on all channels and making your digital presence consistent regardless of channel.
Amadeus sits at the center of every journey, processing 20 bookings every second. That places us in the perfect position to support you to realize your vision for your travel seller business with tailored marketing solutions. In this hotlist, we’ve brought you a business summary of our top insights for traffic acquisition. Hungry for more expert insights? Learn about how we unlock higher acquisition rates for our clients here.