OTAs build up customer loyalty through hyper-personalisation

Online players leverage tech to cast hook in customers

To increase customer acquisition and effectively connect with target audiences, OTAs are employing unique digital solutions that elevate personalised content to the next level.

For example, India-based QuaQua employs highly interactive and dynamic video content to “engage and inspire” travellers, shared Purav Shah, its founder & CEO, at Digital Travel APAC 2019 in Singapore earlier this week.

Online players leverage tech to reel in existing customers

Using data from customers’ viewing history and booking preferences on the website, the OTA recommends and dynamically curates videos and stories for its users; and when building a personal itinerary of tours and activities, it filters out products that the traveller has previously booked, and instead recommends destinations similar to where they have already visited.

“Millennials are our target audience and they flock to our site with a zest for more information. So we need to keep innovating with the type of content we provide – it has to have lots of personalisation and AI content,” explained Shah.

Meanwhile, tour booking platform KKday translates online data into real-life customer service. Liu Weichun, its co-founder & executive vice president, shared that the team has a database that can predict what services or products each customer is most likely to purchase, and these predictions are distributed to tour guides on ground for recommendation to guests.

Liu said: “We do our best to bridge our online knowledge with the on-site experience. Our guide serves the role of something like a hotel concierge, as they can recommend dinner reservations and upsell products that complement the experience, designed based on data we’ve collected online. This way, we can easily convert users.”

Global positioning system (GPS) data is also used to make recommendations, as in the case of Line Travel jp. Using geolocation data from the mobile app, the OTA has set itself apart from competitors by presenting personalised offers and merchant promotions to a user based on their travel itinerary or pattern of commute.

Line Travel jp is also building an ecosystem around loyalty points, which can be interchanged with Line’s main payment solution, Line Pay. With the points under Line Travel jp’s loyalty programme, users can convert them to cash, make in-app purchases and more.

Yoshihiro Sakurai, head of accommodation business, Line Travel jp, Venture Republic, said: “We’re trying to create an ecosystem within the platform, and the use of GPS-based data is one of our unique selling points. We currently have 14 million users; we plan to expand to 20 million by June and 25 million by the end of this year.”

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