As IATA reported in The Future of Airline Distribution, written by Herny Harteveldt from Atmosphere Report, and with valuable testimonials from key industry players: airline distribution is switching to a new distribution model that will allow companies to sell more flexible.
In fact, if we compare how flights are being retailed with other industries or with key retailers such as Amazon; the difference is abysmal especially concerning customer experience and purchase technology. And despite personalization is not an essential part of current distribution efforts – in part because airlines executives know it cannot be – by 2021, 88% of airline executives say personalization will matter. So the Personalization as a significant trend will have a huge impact also in the Airline sector.
The current third-party distribution systems don’t allow the flexibility needed. “Airlines need to create and control their gateways. Each airline should have sole control to sell the way it wants.” points the report. “Airlines have ceded selling control to the GDS operators and, to a lesser extent, PSS vendors for decades. The selling processes used in 2016 are disappointingly similar to how airlines sold in 1966”. For that reason, despite the prevision is that GDSs will continue to have an important role for the next ten to fifteen years; NDC and other technology advancements will reinforce more agile channels. Airlines Industry will switch towards new and flexible selling processes known as Active Distribution.
But before, Airlines have homework. There is a key topic they will need to address if they want to successfully switch towards this Active Distribution and a personalized and flexible sell to their customers: data. First of all, data will be crucial because the Active Distribution will be intensely reliant on data and more concretely in customer data, and despite Airlines have a significant amount of data related to their customers, the problem is its quality and consolidation. In a 2015 study of 56 airlines around the world, Atmosphere Research learned that airlines have passenger data stored on 35 databases and data warehouses, housed both within the carrier and at vendors, located in 14 countries. In the same study, asked to rate the quality of their customer data on a 10-point scale, where 10 equals “Excellent/World Class,” airlines scored their customer data an average of 5.2 – a sad reflection of this mission-critical asset.
So lack of quality and cohesion in the customer data is painful for Airlines, who already know their systems are inadequate for the data capturing, management and analytics they need if they want to improve this area. When we started our conversations with Vueling, a few years ago, we identified a clear pain point for them in the gap of information they had regarding the customer behavior while booking (requests received from all their sales channels, the conversions, the most searched routes, etc.). After starting to gather hidden data in decision making with Datumize Real Demand, some new route opportunities were discovered, and the offer and product could be adapted to their demand thanks to a better understanding of their customers based in quality and consistent data. That’s just an example regarding how data is a pivotal piece to achieve the customer insights needed for a personalized and flexible selling strategy.
Three reasons why Data are the central pillar of the success of Predictive Analytics in Hospitality Industry
One of the main challenges for Hospitality or Hotel executives is achieving the right balance between maintaining memorable guest experiences and meeting the margins and profit obligations. That’s one of the primary motivations for implementing “descriptive analytics,” more known as Business Intelligence, for a better understanding of what is going on and how they can improve it.
But during the last years, this “analytics” approach seems to be not enough, and Predictive Analytics has come into the game. Customers expecting convenience, personalization and excellent service, and the entrance of new and disruptive market players such as Airbnb had put Hotels and other Hospitality companies in a rush for having a perfect understanding of their customer to be able to anticipate to their needs and ensure the delightful service they should offer to remain competitive.
But before even to start thinking about putting in place Predictive Analytics in our Hospitality company, there are three essential things related to the data we need to address:
Having the right data
The Hospitality companies generate a wealth of information about their clients. The report from the Property Management System or the CRM helps them to build a picture of who their buyer persona is. But this is just a small piece of data. Most companies are missing the massive potential of the data they can gather from their booking sources (and especially their main website) to have a clearer picture of demand. This data will tell them who looked at their hotel and when, who booked, and who decided to go elsewhere. The information on the people that didn’t book is as relevant as the information of those that booked. That gives a complete picture to the Hotel. Now, technology advancements and easy-to-use solutions as Datumize Real Demand, allow Hospitality executives to enjoy compelling and actionable insights generated thanks to the leverage of the hidden data in decision making.
As in many other industries, overcoming silos is one of the main challenges to face if Hospitality industry wants to implement Predictive Analytics. Analytics can only achieve those new levels when diverse sets of data are gathered in one place: the famous data-lake.
Using new data sources
For useful predictive analytics we need to bring together all these data we’ve gathered from traditional data sources such as the PMS, CRM, booking sources, website, etc. and combine it with other applicable data sources. Specially Social Media and Review platforms (TripAdvisor) represent a fruitful source of sentimental and qualitative data, that can help the Hotel or Hospitality company to understand what the market is saying about them or the competitors.
Customer experience had become the new competitive advantage for Hospitality Industry and is becoming the motor for this crescent effort to gain better customer understanding. Data are at the foundation of any Predictive Analytics strategy, so for many companies, the three must-done steps explained above are becoming a priority.
At Datumize, we are helping many Hospitality companies to leverage their hidden data in decision making, gathering all the booking data from their different channels so that they can have a perfect understanding of their customer booking behavior and journey, and obtain a full picture of their demand.
Do you want to know more about it? Contact us!
Internet is an enormous platform to sell globally. On the other hand, the competence is also extremely enormous. For many companies, their website is the main entry point to interact with their potential clients and differentiation from competitors is of great importance. As a result, knowing whether the content you are offering on your website is interesting and it is consumed as you expect is a key success factor. There are many tools in the market that can help your company to understand better how your potential clients are interacting with your website. Are these tools giving you all the information you need? What information is missing? In this article, we will try to provide a general view of the knowledge you can get from this kind of tools and the information you are missing.
Web Analytic tools are focused on understanding how users interact with a website, providing valuable information regarding the visited pages, the flow, type of devices and many other metrics regarding the user behavior. Is this information enough? The short answer is NO. It does not mean that the information provided is not valuable, it is really useful, but there is a lot of complementary information that can help you understand better, not just the user behavior, but the full picture. Shortly, Web Analytic tools tell you a lot of information in order to know who interacts with your site, and how, but they do not answer the why, and that is the most important information.
In order to achieve this ambitious goal, information regarding the website responses and responsiveness is also important. Basically, what we need to answer the “why” is to combine the user information and the website information itself. It looks simple, but it is not because in most of the cases this data is ephemeral and gets lost. For instance, the partial text is written in an input, the results of a search, the duration of a search, the general lag during the navigation, etc. These are data that never leave the web browser and, therefore, are never analyzed and used for decision-making; we can call it website’s Dark Data.
There are many metrics that are related to the website that impact on the user behavior. Good content and knowing your target is important, but a bad UX or technical implementation can frustrate the user. What did the user write and why the search was not executed? What kind of preview results was the website showing? Was the user writing in the correct input field? Was the search taking longer than expected? Know if the user left the activity due to a UX problem, a bad responsiveness of your application or a lack of content organization is the key question to answer.
A successful plan to give the most valuable information to your potential clients and attract them must include a variety of metrics related to your website users, their behavior and the website itself, including the content and also technical aspects. Assume that your website content and technical aspects can be the cause of your potential clients leaving the website and start tracking your website behavior.
By Andreu Araque, Engineering Director at Datumize.