Big data is transforming the way businesses conduct operations. Data is gathered in many ways through online searches, analysis of consumer buying behavior and more, and companies use this data to improve their profit margin and provide an overall better experience to customers. While big data is used in many industries around the globe, the travel industry stands to gain a tremendous amount from its use. Many larger companies are already using big data creatively, but you may not understand the true value it can provide for your business. With a closer look at how big data is transforming the travel industry, you can better determine how your own business can benefit from its use.
The travel industry includes a wide range of businesses, such as rental car companies, hotels, airlines, tour operators, cruise lines and more. Each of these companies must find a way to improve the overall customer experience and to meet the unique needs of each customer, and big data assists with this process. Through the use and analysis of big data, travel industry companies can learn more about the preferences of smaller segments of their target audience or even about individuals in some cases. This gives them the ability to tailor special promotions, deals, experiences and more specifically to them. For example, a Las Vegas resort may determine that its customer base is largely comprised of younger adults, so it may host a popular national hip hop star’s concert in its auditorium to attract more visitors. Improving the customer experience through personalization may also enable travel businesses to generate repeat business through loyalty and to get more word-of-mouth referrals.
Big data analysis also gives travel businesses the opportunity to determine more easily why their customers are choosing them over the competition and vice versa. It is necessary to stand out in a crowded marketplace, and businesses that understand why customers are choosing their business over the competition can tailor marketing and products specifically to that niche. Unique differentiation can be used to improve branding, make marketing more cost-effective and even design new products or promotions that appeal specifically to consumers based on why they are choosing to work with a specific company.
Improvement of Business Operations
Travel industry businesses may also use big data analysis to improve operations in numerous ways. Some data analysis may reveal, for example, that one specific aspect of marketing is ineffective, and the company can alter marketing efforts to generate a greater return on investment. Another company may learn from big data that the customers are choosing the competition more heavily because of special price promotions or a perception of better quality. These are only a few of the ways that big data can be revealing, and proper analysis of it can help travel businesses to improve operations for enhanced success and improved profitability going forward.
Real-Time Travel Assistance
Big data captured through mobile devices can provide travel businesses with insight about their current locations as they travel around the world. Some travel companies are harnessing this real-time data to provide travel assistance and recommendations. For example, if a travel app determines that your smartphone is located next to a popular theme park, restaurant or other attraction, it may send your special offers or deals that you can use to save money on a visit to these places. Some also use helpful travel tips or links to local services that you may find helpful.
The Ability to Meet Future Needs
Airlines and cruise lines are just a few of the travel companies that need to know where customers are interested in visiting so that they can customize future travel options available through their companies. For example, one cruise line may see that there is an increased interest in travelers wishing to stop in Costa Rica or Cuba through their use of big data analysis. An airline company may determine that they need a direct flight from Houston to Phoenix several times per week to meet customers’ needs. Perhaps there is an increased interest in people looking for the best places to live in Michigan as a vacation spot, and local businesses can benefit by appealing to these potential long-term vacationers. By analyzing big data, travel companies can better determine how to allocate resources going forward in the most cost-effective way.
Some consumers are understandably timid and even alarmed by how big data is being used to gather information about them. They may view it as an invasion of privacy, for example. However, many travel industry companies successfully use the data that they gather through legitimate means to improve the customer experience in various ways, all parties can benefit. If you work in the travel industry, analyze the big data stats that you may have access to today to determine how you can use the information in positive, productive ways.
Contributed by: Rick Delgado. He’s been blessed to have a successful career and has recently taken a step back to pursue his passion of writing. Rick loves to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet.
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