E-Commerce Strategies to Meet the Needs of Today’s Blended Traveler
The “revenge travel” trend that took hold as the pandemic waned and the world reopened undoubtedly blurred the lines between work and play, and with many companies still allowing staff to work remotely at least part of the time, blended travel—or combining business and leisure in the same trip—is more popular than ever.
Given the current demand for this type of travel, hospitality and travel sites must focus on catering to the needs of blended travelers and assure these customers throughout the booking process that they will have the necessary accommodations to work during their trip. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by partnering with technology companies that leverage machine learning to identify and present blended travelers with the kinds of offers and deals that are most relevant to them, given their unique travel requirements.
Optimizing Personalization, Payments and Search During Travel Booking
To best engage travelers who will combine work and leisure during the same trip, travel companies should ensure they:
- Create a more relevant and personalized e-commerce experience to boost consumer loyalty and confidence. Travel sites can create a deeper connection with each customer by remembering their preferences and presenting options that speak to their needs each time they visit the site. By combining the power of first-party data and machine learning, travel sites can transform the booking experience to ensure they present the most relevant cross-sell and upsell offers to customers every time they book.
- Optimize the payments and confirmation page to create an exceptional buying experience and drive incremental revenue. Financial services fees have become an accepted cost of doing business for e-commerce sites, but the travel industry can take back ownership of the payments stage of the customer journey and turn it into a high-value moment by presenting relevant offers, add-ons, and payment options that appeal to blended travelers.
For example, a traveler who has used alternative payments in the past might be presented with an option to break their total trip payment into four equal smaller ones. Another person who’s extending a work trip to New York City to stay for the weekend might receive an ad for tickets to a Broadway show or a discount to a local sports event on the confirmation page of the booking site. These sorts of highly relevant offers enhance the blended traveler’s experience by giving them suggestions of fun activities they can add on to their upcoming trip, along with more flexible ways to pay, while also helping the travel company unlock additional revenue.
- Optimize site search and filtering abilities for work-specific needs. Requirements for blended travelers are different than for those who are only vacationing. Rather than focusing on booking a room with an ocean view or staying at a resort with a full-service spa, travelers who combine work and play are likely to prioritize features such as a strong Wi-Fi connection, a comfortable desk and chair setup, good lighting, and a quiet place to focus. Working parents traveling with their children might also be looking for childcare options on-site or nearby kid-friendly activities to enjoy once the workday is done.
Companies can communicate how much they value blended travelers’ business and how capable they are of meeting this group’s unique needs by making the content and offers on their site relevant to these customers’ specific travel requirements.
By presenting highly relevant messages to each individual traveler and by optimizing search capabilities to accommodate blended travelers’ unique needs, travel brands can provide a more seamless and personal booking experience that drives both revenue and customer loyalty.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Holly Aresty is Deputy Chief Commercial Officer atRokt, where she leads and executes the strategy for the company’s global go-to-market teams.