Getting ahead of the curve, digital experiences that travel .

joe-travel

After the long, turbulent and isolating year of 2020, people who love to explore, mingle and immersive themselves in new places are itching to go abroad. The challenge for the travel companies that have held their resolve and weathered the hurricane, will be whether they know their audience, can deliver their message correctly and if they can personalise an enhanced experience so that users trust that they are a brand that can deliver the holiday of their dreams.

I don’t think I need to back up the fact that most of us want to go on holiday, but for the record, a recent survey found that ‘the most eager to travel again are Americans and Canadians with 99% stating their intention to do so, and 70% planning to take a holiday in 2021 according to a survey from Travel Leaders Group conducted in conjunction with the World Travel & Tourism Council’ (WTTC).’

This is reinforced by the amazing news that several pharmaceutical companies are now in the final stages of releasing a COVID vaccine for 2021. Happy days!

However, it’s not simply back to business as usual. Travel habits will have changed. Most are unlikely to want to go back to the same place they go to every year. The majority are likely to look for something new. With some choosing to double down and book larger holidays next year. Certainly most of the people I speak to have airline vouchers from cancelled trips, just waiting to be used up. There will also be a tendency for travellers to look for wide-open spaces - the growth in visitors to the U.Ks national parks is testament to that. Holiday-makers may also book across multiple locations and perhaps for longer, looking to make the most of the journey, rather than simply the final destination.

Stronger consideration will be afforded to environmental travel companies and trips. With a predicted increase in the growth in ‘wellness tourism’ and mind and body healing getaways becoming more trendy and sought-after. Some even predict a focus on giving back to local communities in some way - rather than simply going abroad for the best beaches and cocktails.

Whatever the case, the January blues will be in full effect next year. What is normally a busy time of year for travel companies anyway. Is likely to be two or even three-fold next year.

So how can travel companies take advantage of this influx of new business? With all of their new wants, needs and desires. Indeed the customer of tomorrow has arrived today and this has been further consolidated by the pandemic. This customer is digitally savvy, well researched and looking for brands and package holidays that they trust. Refund options must be clear to avoid uncertainty and drop-off. Airlines, in particular, should look to leverage customers who were refunded with travel vouchers earlier this year, as an easy starting point to further their engagement. But above all, travellers in 2021 will be building brand loyalties in advance- through the dark times - now. Those that can offer them the best and most consistent online experiences will win.

Travellers are looking for longer, immersive and explorative trips and travel companies need to reflect this, in the design and build of their websites. That flow becomes even more important and flourishes of added value will set you apart as robust and generous. These experiences need to truly immerse the customer. Through built-in personalisation that is sensitive to a longer list of requirements or anxieties and content that resonates with these new personas, as they begin to research and book their trips. Strong retargeting, email and multi-channel marketing will be essential to drive engagement and the focus on relevance is more important than ever. Remember these customers have been bombarded by DIY and Food brands for the best part of a year! Travel companies should look closely at their on-site digital estate and the tools that they have at their disposal to help them deliver a quality user journey. Those that seize the downtime to set the ‘comeback’ wheels in motion and have the marketing and on-site conversion machine running at full power, will reap the rewards of a whole year’s worth of non-business in relative basket value even if customer count is lower.

Sagittarius has a long history of successful digital transformation within the travel sector and that pedigree has never been more important than now - when you need people you can trust to simply get the job done. We work closely with partners like Sitecore and Microsoft to deliver technologies that match your ambitions and fulfil your business needs. If you’d like to discuss your current digital experience, technology and/or strategy, please feel free to contact us for a no-obligation discussion at hello@sagittarius.agency, I look forward to hearing from you!

want to speak to one of our experts?

TomG 100x100 image
Tom Gilbert
UX Designer

With a little over 5 years experience. I’ve designed everything from websites too leaflets. Business cards to Apps. Being involved in the end-to-end UX process, wireframing, user-journeys and diving deep into data and analytics for both in-house and Agencies. Most noticeably working with Clients such as Suzuki, HomeServe and Wilmott Dixon.

Outside the office, I’m is a self-confessed geek who enjoys gaming, frequenting the cinema and nailing down a good graphic novel. I also love spending time outdoors and can be found walking with the wife and dog in the dales or snowboarding on holiday. And when he needs some downtime


TomG 100x100 image

Tom Gilbert

24 Nov 2020 - 10 minute read
share this

stay in the know, stay ahead.

Get the latest from the agency, including news, events and expert content.
find out what we can do for you
read some of our case studies