Travel loyalty programmes holds immense potential in Singapore, with 43% of Singaporean travellers using travel loyalty programmes and 83% of those enjoy using it, according to a study by Criteo to uncover latest insights on loyalty programmes.
Criteo’s Why We Book study, which are based on responses received from May to July 2019 from 1,027 residents in Singapore that had travelled abroad for leisure in the past six months, also found that loyalty programmes encouraged travellers to be loyal to a specific brand (77%) and like the brand more (76%).
Travel loyalty programmes are popular in Singapore, with 43% surveyed being members of at least one travel loyalty programme, found the study. Singapore occupies the highest share in Asia-Pacific and second globally after the US (47%). The popularity of such programmes is low in Europe, with Italy and Spain tied at the lowest share at 20%.
“Travel is a competitive and complex space with great growth potential in Asia-Pacific. The region’s rising middle class and growth in the digital economy are enabling more Singaporeans to look for different travelling options. This has contributed to an increase in travel loyalty programmes that are enjoyed especially among the older travellers such as Millennials, Gen X and Boomers and Silent,” said Pauline Lemaire, director of large accounts, Southeast Asia at Criteo.
Targeted travel loyalty programmes and user friendliness drive loyalty
Among all responses, the study found that travellers prioritise a simplified booking experience. When it comes to their reasons for booking directly with an airline or hotel, travellers remarked that “it is easier to change or amend my booking” and “I am used to booking this way”. As such, travel operators should aim to provide a seamless experience to retain customers to encourage repeat visits and purchase.
To do so, travel operators should serve highly relevant ads, so travellers complete their bookings quickly. In fact, a separate customer loyalty study by Criteo titled Why We Buy, which polled 1,000 residents in Singapore in July 2019, revealed that Singaporeans are open to receiving targeted advertising.
Some 62% reported having a positive experience with online ads when they help with product discovery and 58% enjoy it when a personalised discount is offered. This finding complements the demand for a smooth and personalised travel booking experience. Thus, travel operators should consider developing personalised loyalty programmes with rewards and benefits that appeal to individual travellers.
Travel loyalty programmes get lost on Gen Zs
Travel presents a huge opportunity among Gen Zs in Singapore, with 55% expecting to spend more on travel in 2019. However, this segment is not motivated by travel loyalty programmes and few utilise them. As Gen Zs are less engaged with loyalty programmes, they use it less often and 52% of Gen Zs even forget that they have signed up for one.
The shares for members of at least one travel loyalty programme by age group are as such: Gen Z (25%); Millennials (46%); Gen X (41%); as well as Boomers and Silent (48%).
“As Singaporean travellers are open to receiving relevant ads, travel operators should look to develop more dynamic loyalty programmes and offer different types of rewards to various customer segments. Those who can make the travel experience and booking process easier will earn traveller loyalty. To truly understand what each traveller desires, it is important to understand the full customer journey from browsing to purchase with the help of a strong full-funnel solutions provider,” said Lemaire.
Travellers perceive that airlines and OTAs provide the best prices
In Singapore, different types of travel loyalty programmes come with varying levels of engagement. Travellers who choose to book directly with hotels do so out of habit (38%) and not necessarily because they are members of the hotel’s loyalty programme (24%).
The top reason travellers book directly with airlines and OTAs is to find the best prices. Some 39% of travellers surveyed believe that OTAs typically offer the best prices, while 32% find that booking directly with airlines gets them the best prices.