The Future of Travel Incentives
Travel, tourism, and hospitality companies will often issue incentives for participating in promotions, customer rewards, VIP “status rewards,” flight discount codes, etc. While these are great ways to instil loyalty, the next question then becomes, “How do these travel companies MAINTAIN these relationships?” The answer, is technology.
The goal of any successful incentives program is to drive long-term engagement and create lasting brand loyalty. In today’s world, it’s important that these programs leverage technology, which means that these programs needs to engage users digitally.
So how can your travel incentives program adapt to the digital (r)evolution?
You need to get mobile.
Technology is changing the incentives and rewards markets, and consumers want to use their mobile phones to make it easier to be active participants in their loyalty programs. 71 percent said they would be more likely to use their loyalty cards if they could access their cards and rewards from their mobile phone. 72 percent said their preferred method for accessing a loyalty account was via mobile/Internet. Two out of three smartphone owners say they are more likely to use a digital payment over traditional payment methods if they were to receive better discounts or loyalty rewards. Travel companies looking to increase sales and customer retention can combine the ease-of-use and success of prepaid with mobile rewards and loyalty programs.
Seriously. Smartphones are important.
87 percent of all US adults now own a smartphone or web-enabled tablet. Smartphones and Internet-connected devices have changed the way consumers interact with businesses, from customer service and communication via social media, to online shopping and mobile payments. According to a study by Asurion, Americans check their phones 80 times per day. When you discount the eight hours of sleep that each person has per day, this means that the average American checks their phone once every 12 minutes! Given the ubiquitous use of of mobile-connected devices, it makes sense for travel companies to take advantage of this golden marketing opportunity.
Location, location, location.
In our mobile-drive economy, customer engagement can and does happen all the time, continuously, whether the consumer is travelling or at a store ready to shop. Geo-targeting and geo-fencing are two options a travel company can use with their loyalty program to offer location-based rewards. Digital “beacons” or advertisements can be sent when a consumer encounters specific shops, streets, or even brands at malls, and promotional notifications and offers can help push marketing to new heights thanks to the ability to use data to personalize offers.
Speaking of push…
Push notifications using mobile apps allow companies to target their customers like never before while they travel. Imagine walking into the hotel that gave you an incentive card and receiving a push-based notification for a meal discount or free meal, just by using your loyalty card. Or, as soon as you land in a new destination you are shown all the local locations and stores that your loyalty card is accepted at. By tying rewards to locations, experiences, and payment cards, travel companies can truly hit their consumers where they live… and where they don’t!
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