Friday, 21 September 2018

The 4 Week Countdown is on as Travel Industry Elite Set to Gather In Las Vegas On Oct 18-19 – American Airlines, Google, Marriott, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Accor Hotels, and More


Do you work in travel marketing, distribution, data analytics, partnerships, revenue management or travel technology? If you have answered yes to any of the above, then it’s not too late to secure your spot at EyeforTravel North America 2018 (Oct 18-19, Mandalay Bay Las Vegas)

Travel’s leading brands are returning to EyeforTravel’s 20th Annual North America show with the biggest guest list yet, including top executives from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Google, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Marriott International, Booking Holdings, Expedia, Accor Hotels, Choice Hotels, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, Caesars Corporation and many more.

EyeforTravel know it’s not always easy to get in front of the right people, but they’ve gathered over 300+ senior travel execs for you to meet over two days! Click here to view the line-up of the year you cannot afford to miss!

Aside from making valuable contacts, attendees can expect to leave with a firm grasp of the latest opportunities and threats facing the industry, with leaders across all areas of travel presenting their answers to the most pressing questions including:
  •         Delivering a superior CX to delight customers at every turn
  •         Personalization in marketing and driving ancillary revenue
  •          Navigating the crowded field of distribution
  •          The intersection of the world of loyalty and your digital strategy
  •          The future of CX when it comes to travel tech
  •       Artificial intelligence in travel – going beyond the hype; and much more!

Hear case studies and practical insights from the game-changers in travel, and ditch the myths about buzzwords such as personalization, AI, Blockchain, and more – finally come to grips with the truth to enhance your strategy in 2019 and beyond.

There's plenty to be nervous about when it comes to enabling a frictionless CX, but don’t let the future scare you – The last chance discount expires at the end of this week (Friday 21st Sep!) so click here to secure your spot now.

It’s not too late yet, so don’t risk on missing out on insights that will propel your business forward.
Contact the team directly at – renu@eyefortravel.com 

EyeforTravel is a community where the world's top online travel brands – from hotels to airlines, online travel agents, cruise, car hire firms and more – come to meet to drive forward growth and innovation in the industry. We aim to provide you with industry focused news, events, reports, updates and information. EyeforTravel Limited is a registered company. The Company Registration number is 06286442. It is also registered in England & Wales. Registered office is 7-9 Fashion Street, London E1 6PX, United Kingdom.

Renu Kannu
EyeForTravel | Project and Research Director (+ 44 747 118 7217 |renu@eyefortravel.com)


Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Online travel and the customer experience: Is your organization's strategy equipped for 2018 and beyond?


2018 really seems to be flying by, and that’s not the only scary thing.

Delivering a frictionless customer experience is, and it continues to keep travel executives up at night. The online landscape is constantly evolving, disruption is abundant, and the customers of today are more demanding than ever before. Is your organization’s CX strategy equipped for 2018 and beyond?

Benchmark your CX strategy once and for all, at EyeforTravel North America 2018:
  • What do you need to be looking out for in 2019 and beyond? Hear from Barry Goldstein, Executive VP & Chief Commercial Officer at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts as he takes attendees through the threats and opportunities in travel, and more importantly the collision of distribution, marketing and digital
  • Want to hear from leading travel brands who have excelled in their CX strategies: Get insider tips from Caesars Corporation, Jet Blue Tech Ventures, and Hopper; who have delighted customers at every touchpoint. Hear case studies from brands who’ve not just done it but nailed it!
Click here to get the most up-to-date info on our world-class attendee list
  • You’ve heard the saying ‘personalization is king’, but what does this mean? Hear from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Marriott, Spirit Airlines and MyFlightSearch as they take you through their multi-channel engagement strategy, using data to personalize and successfully driving loyalty to their businesses
  • Ever thought of taking your CX strategy to the next level but not quite sure how to? Learn from Marriott, Choice Hotels, and Tesla as they discuss Reimagining the Customer Journey and Taking your Brand to the Next Level through UX, design-led innovation and tech innovation to give your business an edge
  • Ditch the myths about AI, VR, and Mobile Messaging: Listen to what Google, Cathay Pacific, and CruiseBe have to say in these emerging tech sessions and come to grips with the truth
There's plenty to be nervous about when it comes to enabling a frictionless CX, but don’t let the future scare you.

Attend the EyeforTravel North America Summit (Oct 18 – 19, Las Vegas) and leave with a firm grip on the latest opportunities and threats you need to be aware of. Take back top-class insights from travel’s leading influencers and implement them as soon as you’re back in the office.

Contact the team directly at – renu@eyefortravel.com  


EyeforTravel is a community where the world's top online travel brands – from hotels to airlines, online travel agents, cruise, car hire firms and more – come to meet to drive forward growth and innovation in the industry. We aim to provide you with industry focused news, events, reports, updates and information. EyeforTravel Limited is a registered company. The Company Registration number is 06286442. It is also registered in England & Wales. Registered office is 7-9 Fashion Street, London E1 6PX, United Kingdom.
Renu Kannu
EyeForTravel | Project and Research Director (+ 44 20 7375 7197 |renu@eyefortravel.com)





Content and Social Critical to Converting Travelers


Content and social media distribution are vital to reaching and converting travellers finds a new report from EyeforTravel, which can bedownloaded for free now.

Quality content marketing and a strong social media presence is helping brands build loyal customer bases and underpinning more effective sales and marketing funnels according to EyeforTravel’s new Converting the Customer report, which can be downloaded here.

Strong content can not only be used to make travellers aware of a destination or brand but it also gives brands critical clues about consumer intent that can then be used to build out their marketing. Combining this effectively with social media strategy and sharing tools turbocharges it and is giving brands a critical edge. 

“What helped us boost conversion is that we managed to build up a sustainable brand loyalty over social media so people are in contact with our brand every day or when they see things in their news feed,” says David Armstrong, CEO of HolidayPirates. “That’s why we have managed to have a lot of brand traffic and organic traffic on our website and on our mobile app, which helps conversion.”

HolidayPirates, however, has taken social to another level building its brand almost entirely through the medium. “We invest in content and viral content on social media [and] after six years we have over 30 million monthly visits, almost 10 million Facebook fans, over 10 million app downloads and last year an estimated TTV [total transaction value] of €362m,”  Armstrong told the EyeforTravel Europe summit 2018. This growth has come despite not spending anything on search engine marketing and last year, his business reckons it only paid for 7% of its traffic.

It helped, he said, that the business started as a travel blog recommending fantastic deals. Now, algorithms and technology do much of this leg work, and the results are posted on social media to hook in customers and stimulate viral sharing.

“Our recipe for virality has four components – an entertaining tone of voice, transparency, to be relevant with content deals and a call to action, and being controversial to foster engagement,” he added. “You have to inspire people.”

This shows that social media advertising and viral content can draw eyes to you, even if you are a smaller operator, such as Eurail, which sells all-in-one train tickets for Europe.

“Our struggle is our brand awareness,” said Roel Verhagen, head of e-commerce. “We are not top of mind when you think about travel…but we do have 2,500,000 in traffic a month. Our return on -investment on ad spend is hugely important.”

They came up with the marketing idea of creating two videos telling the story of a pair who met by chance in Amsterdam and travelled Europe together – with longer-play and short versions for paid adverts and social media pages. At the same time, the team started using Facebook Pixel to track customer response to this advertising and finding out where people fell out of the funnel through seven stages, from being made aware of Eurail, to having purchased a ticket.

“At a certain moment, the return on advertising spend was better on our own channels like Facebook, and we had success with the engagement rate,” says Verhagen. The videos of Chloe’s story and Justin’s story rose to 11 million views, and now the next video is in production with the firm Boomerang, and a permanent part of marketing policy.

Adding social and review functionality onto your digital experience doesn’t have to be intimidating either. A growing number of new digital media companies in this space allow smart partnerships to help host, monitor and improve social interactions.

Dan Christian, chief digital officer of The Travel Corporation, believes in harnessing the potential of advertising via social media recommendation. “Mary Meeker’s latest trend report says selling on social platforms is very real – people see social content and make purchases,” he told the EyeforTravel Europe Summit 2018 in London. “We were looking to get all of our travel directors active on social media.”

For his group – comprising 30 international brands – the solution was a partnership with a Toronto-based start-up, PostBeyond, which connects enthusiastic employee advocates with potential customers on social media, and Feefo, an independent online review site.


“PostBeyond was a tool that our team could use and with one click could share – their SaaS [software as a service] model worked perfectly. We also needed user generated reviews – independent reviews from people who had been on our trip [with Feefo]. We see consumer behavior changing and we won’t be relevant if we aren’t where they are spending their time, and we need the tools to do that.”

These case studies from the report demonstrate that content and social are intertwined with success in the marketing funnel for brands of all shapes and sizes. To learn more about how to drive up your conversion rates and revenues download the new Converting the Customer report for free now by clicking here. This report includes findings on:
  • How to measure and understand intent to purchase.
  • What content and marketing will drive up conversions.
  • How to retarget and remarket in a way that brings customers back.
  • How to use different channels effectively.
  • Why social proof is critical and how it can dramatically raise revenues.

This report is part of our Behavioral Analytics Report Series, where we seek to uncover how brands can understand the modern traveler to drive higher conversion rates, lower acquisition costs, and ultimately give them the best possible product at the right price. You can find the first report, Understanding the Travel Consumer by clicking here. You can also sign up to EyeforTravel’s newsletter to be notified when our third report in the series, which covers dynamic and personalized pricing, is released. 

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Why It Can Pay to Be Counterintuitive in Travel Marketing and Sales

Travel brands are discovering that driving up conversions requires counterintuitive design and a smart approach to testing

For almost every travel brand, their marketing and sales funnel is extremely porous, with consumers dropping out at every stage and low numbers eventually turning into bookings. Pushing up conversion rates isn’t straightforward either, find EyeforTravel’s new Converting the Customer report, which is free to download now. To succeed, designers, webmasters and analysts will need to be ready to take a journey into the sometimes illogical and counterintuitive world of marketing and sales psychology.

http://1.eyefortravel.com/LP=21727?extsource=prUnderstanding what does and doesn’t work all starts with a strong base in thorough testing. Steven Consiglio, product performance manager at Booking.com, said that it always has “countless, ever-present” different versions of its site on trial and uses A/B testing to measure the success rate of one version against another.

“Most of the concrete opinions we’ve brought to the table have been wrong,” he says. “In terms of hypotheses, we do worse than a coin flip on things that we feel will improve the guest experience – it really speaks to the importance of a testing culture. We added a shadow to the Booking.com search box and conversion increased. There are a hundred of those [kinds of example] that are nonsensical.”

Sam Nazari, head of solutions engineering at Sentient Technologies also finds that small changes can add up but trying to second guess which ones or why is borderline impossible: “One of our clients decided to reverse the payment and address fields. So instead of the customer filling out the address and the payment field, let them start with the payments and then the address field. We don’t necessarily know why, but our AI told us that that variation is a top performer.”

He has also found that it can even pay to create an ugly website! “Abub Media tested very odd colors, and non-obvious combinations of colours were actually the best performing design. So, a pink background and perform widget, a white call to action with black text and a lime green banner was a top performer. They call it the ugly widget creator! We generated that design, and it was a 45% lift [in bookings] over [the] control.”

Product choices and menus are also a place where travel brands need to apply testing and psychological know-how. Normally, putting in more product choices and steps before the final checkout leads to noticeable drop out at each stage and reduces conversion and revenues. However, by optimising the choice presented to the consumer, there are times when this is not the case and counterintuitively the opposite is true.

Take easyjet for example. They introduced new baggage options in 2018, offering consumers 15kg, 23kg and 26kg hold bag choices. This would seem to go against the grain of reducing cognitive load for the consumer by adding more choices in this instance. However, through site optimization, menu design, and some clever psychological pricing, this is paying off. Whilst the jump from a 15kg hold bag to a 23kg hold bag costs a few pounds or euros, the 26kg bag cost over 60% in the example we looked at on their website in August 2018. This is a classic pricing trick that makes the consumer assume the middle option is the best value, with the 26kg option essentially a redundant option, and the 15kg option acting as an anchor price to emphasise the value of the 23kg hold bag. 

These are all examples of why it is important not to assume your logic is the same as the customers and to examine any attempt to lift conversion through comprehensive testing. Whilst changing small items, such as the colour of the call-to-action, the position of menu items, or the wording behind ancillary sales items, can seem small and nonsensical, adding them all up can make a real difference to the bottom line. It therefore pays to test the counterintuitive and go against your instincts in the pursuit of higher conversion rates.

To learn more about how to drive up your conversion rates and revenues download the new Converting the Customer report for free now by clicking here. This report includes findings on:

  • How to measure and understand intent to purchase.
  • What content and marketing will drive up conversions.
  • How to retarget and remarket in a way that brings customers back.
  • How to use different channels effectively.
  • Why social proof is critical and how it can dramatically raise revenues.

This report is part of our Behavioral Analytics Report Series, where we seek to uncover how brands can understand the modern traveler to drive higher conversion rates, lower acquisition costs, and ultimately give them the best possible product at the right price. You can find the first report, Understanding the Travel Consumer by clicking here. You can also sign up to EyeforTravel’s newsletter to be notified when our third report in the series, which covers dynamic and personalized pricing, is released.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Google, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – Silicon Valley Powerhouses Confirm Participation at The Eyefortravel North America Summit 2018


As the travel industry moves into new digital arenas, four of tech’s biggest brands; Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Google, have confirmed attendance at the EyeforTravel North America Summit - to take place on October 18-19 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. With the likes of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, American Airlines and Accor Hotels also appearing on the speaker line-up, the 20th Annual North America Summit is undoubtedly the year’s most prestigious travel conference. 

Meet the biggest names in tech and gain a stronger understanding of how to enact an effective social media and content marketing strategy. Hear from those travel companies succeeding in integrating the latest technological innovations into their business plans and learn how they have used these tools to capture data, own the booking and boost profits. 


What will the tech giants be covering this October?
  • ·        Facebook’s Industry Manager for Travel, Kate Hamill will be covering the power of open API partnerships and evaluating the best distribution partnerships required to diversify your revenue portfolio. Joining her in this session are CIE Tours’ CCO, Susan Black, and Hotwire’s Director of UX Research, Clay Newton.
  • ·       Google’s Global Head of Business Development in Carrier Messaging, Todd Parker will be discussing the next era of mobile messaging for travel
  • ·        Pinterest’s Vertical Strategy Lead for Tech, Travel, & Telco, Nicolette Harper and Sakshi Chadha, Partnerships will uncover how travel brands can use Pinterest to capitalize on pinners who are actively looking for recommendations and how marketers can use Pinterest to inspire consumers across every aspect of the travel journey, from dreaming to planning and ultimately booking.
  • ·        Twitter’s Head of Travel & Mobile App Partnerships, Erin Gilmore will be evaluating how the mobile interface can be used to maximise personalisation and develop a stronger sense of brand awareness among consumers. She will be joined by Michael Childers, Chief Consultant in Content & Media Strategy at Lufthansa Systems.


Just as the speaker line-up continues to make strides, so does the attendee list, which is becoming increasingly populated by big industry players. Among the latest brands to confirm their attendance are Expedia Group, Copa Airlines, Accor Hotels and Royal Resorts.

Numerous networking opportunities will take place throughout the duration of the event. EyeforTravel are using the event app Brella this year – enabling attendees to set up meetings well in advance to make the most of catching up with industry representatives.

Attend the EyeforTravel North America Summit (Oct 18 – 19, Las Vegas) and leave with a firm grip on the latest opportunities and threats you need to be aware of. Take back top-class insights from travel’s leading influencers and implement them as soon as you’re back in the office.

PS. The early bird discount has been extended for one more week due to popular demand - contact the team directly at renu@eyefortravel.com to secure your discounted pass and save $200!

EyeforTravel is a community where the world's top online travel brands – from hotels to airlines, online travel agents, cruise, car hire firms and more – come to meet to drive forward growth and innovation in the industry. We aim to provide you with industry focused news, events, reports, updates and information. EyeforTravel Limited is a registered company. The Company Registration number is 06286442. It is also registered in England & Wales. Registered office is 7-9 Fashion Street, London E1 6PX, United Kingdom.



Six Steps to Convert Travel Consumers






EyeforTravel’s new Converting the Customer report reveals six key tactics to push your site’s visitors from lookers to bookers. 


Converting a travel customer is a tricky business for any brand but EyeforTravel’s new Converting the Customer report, which is free to download now, is here to help with six key tactics that will help you go from booking bust to a conversion king!

Test and Test Consistently
What will and won’t succeed in increasing conversions when it comes to site look and layout is frequently not obvious and often frustratingly irrational. A/B testing is a must in this arena, as even the most adept of web designers may miss out on a conversion positive tactic. Note that you will need good levels of traffic to the test pages, especially for more subtle changes to avoid freak results or misleading conclusions. 


Reduce the Steps to the Completing the Booking 




















Once customers have reached checkout, keep it to crucial information only, or even confirm the booking and look at payments later in the case of hotels or tours and activities. This is especially true on mobile as reduced real estate makes it harder for the customer to enter details and move through stages. “On mobile, we have found that entering in credit card information, and/or address details, overwhelmingly became the highest bounce rate,” says Steven Consiglio, product performance manager at Booking.com. “It was a tremendous [source of] friction once you already shrink the screen and shrink the steps to book.” So, the business created a product to allow hotels to waive the need for a credit card to be entered, in certain circumstances. “It has a huge conversion-positive boost [for] last-minute [bookings],” he adds.

If They Haven’t Asked for the Product, You Need a Reason to Offer It


If consumers drop off for every extra hurdle they have to jump then why put them there? Keep your extra products simple and make it obvious what the benefit is to the customer at every single stage. If at all possible use previous sales data, intent information and cookie tracking to find out what products are most likely to be taken up by the customer and also an optimal pricing level. To return to testing again, run an A/B test to see if trying to sell an ancillary product is genuinely conversion and revenue positive versus not offering it or offering it more subtly. Small page changes or product variations can lead to big jumps.

Keep Friction as Low as Possible 


All of these points are really about keeping friction down for the customer at every stage of their journey. Think about user intent at each stage and what would get them to their desired outcome as fast and accurately as possible. ““We recommend taking a look at average order value and revenue per variation,” explains Sam Nazari, head of solutions engineering at Sentient Technologies. “Maybe you increase your overall conversion rate but AOV and revenue goes down, so you need to take account of that. Typically, as a best practice, removing any kind of distraction that takes the user away from going to the end of that funnel and converting, is always a good idea.” Nowadays it is very cheap to run user testing through on-demand services that can source large number of remote testers at short notice. Some have even taken it further, with Expedia running its own in-house user lab. 


Retarget Where Possible


Just because the customer dropped off, doesn’t mean they are gone forever. Indeed, the majority of final bookers will return to the product they last viewed or a similar one. This is a golden opportunity to close the deal. If you can track and retarget them then you are increasing your probability of conversion. While using banner ads is an established tactic, you can now get even more sophisticated. Saving their search criteria and viewed items can give you a crucial advantage in reducing their steps to checkout when they return. You can serve them their searches or preferred products via a chatbot offering a discount, or push notifications on-site or on-app to bring them back to their previous searches. 

Give Them Reasons to Believe

Social proof tactics are all relatively simple but are some of the most effective possible changes you can make to optimize an e-commerce process.

Adding in reviews and user feedback is the main method of social proof when it comes to online travel sales, but also you can create a sense that the booking may disappear due to demand from scarcity messaging, which can be combined with a deadline to purchase for an added psychological push. A meta-analysis of 6,700 A/B tests conducted by e-commerce company Qubit across 2014 to 2017 found that social proof, introducing the idea of inventory scarcity and using messages with sales deadlines to create urgency were by far the most effective tactics from the 29 categories they tested. This is because they increased consumer perception of product value and encouraged them to push on with the purchase. They found that these tactics gave the following bump to revenue per visitor:

  • Scarcity created a +2.9% uplift.
  • Social proof created a +2.3% uplift.
  • Urgency created a +1.5% uplift.
Furthermore, out of all of the tactics tested, scarcity and social proof had the highest probability of creating an uplift in their experiments.

To learn more about how to drive up your conversion rates and revenues download the new Converting the Customer report for free now by clicking here. This report includes findings on:
  • How to measure and understand intent to purchase. 
  • What content and marketing will drive up conversions. 
  • How to retarget and remarket in a way that brings customers back. 
  • How to use different channels effectively. 
  • Why social proof is critical and how it can dramatically raise revenues.
This report is part of our Behavioral Analytics Report Series, where we seek to uncover how brands can understand the modern traveler to drive higher conversion rates, lower acquisition costs, and ultimately give them the best possible product at the right price. You can find the first report, Understanding the Travel Consumer by clicking here. You can also sign up to EyeforTravel’s newsletter to be notified when our third report in the series, which covers dynamic and personalized pricing, is released.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

NEW FREE REPORT: Converting the Customer


Download this free report now to become a conversion king!

From understanding where the customer is in their journey, to delivering personalized content, to creating fantastic digital experiences, we are investigating exactly what will drive customers towards your brand and push them over the line to make a booking. Download this completely free report now to optimize your conversion process and generate higher revenues.

Click here to download the report.

Raising conversion rates is critical, as customer acquisition can be a painfully expensive business, which worsens every time a potential shopper departs the funnel not to return.

The good news is that improving this process doesn’t have to be a huge challenge.

Introducing engaging, appropriate content, operating well-designed A/B tests, creating a streamlined checkout process and adding in strong social proof are all proven methods to bump up conversions but at relatively low costs. It is all about doing the basics well, and this report will help you to get those building blocks in place and create a superior digital experience. 

Key learnings from the report include:
·         How to measure and understand intent to purchase.
·         What content and marketing will drive up conversions.
·         How to retarget and remarket in a way that brings customers back.
·         How to use different channels effectively.
·         Why social proof is critical and how it can dramatically raise revenues.

Download the report now!

This report is part of our Behavioral Analytics Report Series, where we seek to uncover how brands can understand the modern traveler to drive higher conversion rates, lower acquisition costs, and ultimately give them the best possible product at the right price. You can find the first report, Understanding the Travel Consumer by clicking here. You can also sign up to EyeforTravel’s newsletter to be notified when our third report in the series, which covers dynamic and personalized pricing, is released.