On-line travel agency’s hammer against razor thin margins are data analytics apps
We love to travel or we have to travel. Travel booking portals are competing to help us. Right data analytics platform can help travel booking engines far beyond on-line marketing or consumer data analytics. It can grow loyal customers through embedded analytics apps or data monetization instead of just playing razor sharp thin margin game.
Top data analytics mix for travel booking portals
- Travel booking rates and funnel
- Performance by marketing source
- Customer segmentation insights
- KPIs to negotiate better deal with hotels, airlines…
- Anonymized Data monetization
- Analytics apps for traveler (best deals, destination analytics)
Process above can slightly differ. It depends if your business is travel booking site, that aggregates offers from affiliates or solo provider. Points 4,5,6 are new ways to grow new revenue streams. Data involved are coming from travel booking engine, marketing automation, CRM and call center. So how these pieces fit together? Have a closer look.
Travel booking rates and funnel insights
This one is very similar with e-commerce portals. On-line travel agencies (OTA) should consider to use cloud based data analytics BI. It can connect directly to travel booking engine. It directly analyze data produced when customers land on the homepage to when they book flight, hotel, car. Overall important KPIs are Bookings conversion rate, Average booking value, Look-to-book ratio with geography and demography focus is typical for any of these portals like Wego.com, Kayak.com. Travel data analytics tool should allow you to analyze at least the minimal list below:
- Bookings by destination in regards to flight and hotel searches
- Success rate of booking conversions on a hotel, flights or combination – hotel and flight
- Performance of wholesaler, partnerships with hotel, flight providers
- Contracting staff progress to forge direct contracts with hotels at wholesale rates
- Direct channel versus affiliates bookings
- Number of bookings through the specific wholesaler.
Performance by marketing source
Depending on your marketing data source, cloud BI should be able to connect without coding to Google Analytics, AdWords and as well measure social networks campaigns or brand awareness on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or respectively KakaoTalk, WeChat, QQ, Line in case you are APAC focused. The real benefit comes when you correlate data with data, that are coming from your Marketing automation system. For instance from your newsletter campaigns based on MailChimp. Dashboard should include alerts and filters at least for:
- Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
- Success rate for customer birthday discounts e-mail campaign
- Effectiveness of Google pay-per-click advertising
- Devices used to open e-mail
- Marketing campaign related clickthrough actions.
Customer segmentation insights
Having consumer segmentation dashboard comes handy. It helps to bring more taylored travel products and better targeting for Ad campaigns. We call it “booking personas” like Experience seeker, Couponing family, Adventure seeker. You should be able to drill down in time, different personas groups to find out when and where these guys are traveling. And example of Adventure seeker could be:
- 25-35 years old
- Moving up in their career
- No family or very young family
- 6+ trips per year, 2-3 trips around authentic experiences
- use car rental, 4 star hotels, Tourist class traveler.
Negotiate better deals through data discovery
To better negotiate margins and discount rates with hotels, car rentals, airlines it is great idea to empower your contracting professionals with Mobile BI report. Cloud data analytics can identify hotels with lower direct booking percentages than others. Contractors can use it to negotiate for better rates. It allows to change pricing with your direct contracts so it’s more competitive with your wholesaler contracts. Ultimately such data discovery protects your business from rise of razor sharp margins, that are widespread challenge in China (read TechinAsia article) and globally in on-line travel booking market.
Anonymized Data monetization
Your partners from hospitality, airlines or car rentals companies. Would be highly interested into the data, that are floating through your booking engine. Data analytics tool like BellaDati has got build in feature, that allows you to anonymize the data and distribute meaningful report to B2B customer. You can actually decide about detail of data drill-down and setup branded login access for these customers. Finally deliver such reports like interactive version or PDF report. Such report could include:
- Top popular hotel chains, hotels in categories of ( business hotel, family hotel,hotel for swimming,Romantic hotel, Short stay hotel
- Most requested hotel amenities – Highspeed internet, non-smoking rooms, safe/Vault, Air conditioning
- Top destinations for 3 days, 1 week, 2 weeks stay.
Analytics apps for traveler
I travel a lot for business. 90% of my trip planning and booking I did trough mobile application.Cloud BI based on BIG DATA, that is running on the backend of iOS or Android app can deliver Personalized Travel Experience or Predict travel delays. It can combine data from social networks like recommendations with data from booking engine itself. In that way it can provide added value service for customer and build loyal customers. Which is killer on razor sharp margins in online travel booking industry. Travelers mobile app powered cloud BI could work like that:
- Call Data Analytics features via API/SDK enabled cloud BI
- Learn from habits of user (show favourite flights, hotels)
- Destination related analytics
- Predict delays according the weather
- Show best deals and recommend best day to travel
- Show average waiting time at airport
- Average time to get from airport to hotel and back.