Everyone along the travel supply chain – from airports to airlines, cruise companies, hotels, railways and travel agencies – has the ability to leverage big data to improve their business, remain competitive and maintain customer loyalty.
There are three key benefits that big data provides to both the travellers and travel industry:
1. A unique and personalised customer experience
Travel-booking has transcended beyond price as travellers demand unique experiences based on their individual tastes and preferences. Big data allows travel agents to make informed recommendations based on the travellers’ preference and behaviour, such as suggesting a hotel based on locations (closer to the city, beach, etc.) or one that is popular among their peers.
2. Knowing and predicting what customers want, even before they ask for it
Big data can help travel companies understand the ongoing requests and changing tastes of their customer base and identify patterns in consumer behaviour to determine the offering that they may want in the future.
For example, Hipmunk, an online travel booking start-up uses big data to analyse customer profiles, social graphs, airline data and reviews to help automate the process of flights-booking. They have also streamlined and catered search results based on the needs of individual travellers.
3. Competitive differentiation
Big data provides travel companies with a competitive advantage over business rivals. British Airways (BA) gained unique and in-depth customer insights from its Executive Club loyalty and it’s “Know me” programme thanks to big data.
By understanding its customer’s air travel preferences better than any other airlines, BA was able to use that information across various customer touch points. The offering of targeted products and services ensured a seamless and unique travel experience for the air travellers, while strengthening BA’s customer loyalty and revenue.