Actionable Insights From APT's Retail Practice
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Taking Your Customer Analytics Beyond Campaigns

July 31st, 2017 | Posted by Haley Jackson in Analytics | Financial Services | Hospitality & Travel | Insurance | Marketing & Media | Restaurants | Retail - (Comments Off on Taking Your Customer Analytics Beyond Campaigns)

Researching. Browsing. Transacting. These are all components of the customer journey, and now more than ever, they are taking place beyond physical channels. While the process of researching and browsing increasingly shifts to online and mobile platforms, the majority of consumers still prefer to transact in brick-and-mortar locations. As a result, while physical channels certainly remain relevant – to a varying extent – the way organizations across industries evaluate new programs and initiatives must be customer-centric.

Many best-in-class organizations have already established a standardized test vs. control approach with which to evaluate new initiatives. Business experiments at the customer level are common in areas such as marketing, where leading companies leverage customer analytics to measure the true impact of their campaigns. But as the question for executives shifts from “How do we collect more data?” to “How can we use our data more effectively?”, decision-makers must think outside of the box in their application of customer analytics.

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Thinking Outside of the Trip: Enhancing the Customer Journey from Start to Finish

July 26th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Hospitality & Travel - (Comments Off on Thinking Outside of the Trip: Enhancing the Customer Journey from Start to Finish)

Customer experience is critical – so critical, in fact, that customers who had the best past customer experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experiences. In the travel industry, customer experience has traditionally focused on only the stay or trip itself; but today, leading organizations are thinking beyond just the in-person touchpoints, to all touchpoints throughout the traveler journey.

Airlines, hotels and cruise lines must think across the four stages of their customer journey: customer awareness, customer acquisition, customer experience, and loyalty and retention. To remain competitive and drive profits, organizations in the travel industry must enhance the traveler experience across each of these dimensions. But how?

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Merchandising the Room: New Possibilities for Personalization within Hospitality

July 5th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Hospitality & Travel - (Comments Off on Merchandising the Room: New Possibilities for Personalization within Hospitality)

Retailers are no strangers to refining their assortment of merchandise, but this concept is new territory for hotels. Traditionally, many hospitality brands have had a largely uniform product offering – standard rooms with minor differences in amenities, and varying tiers of suites – but now, their business model is shifting. Hotels are beginning to “merchandise the room” through customized design and amenities to provide guests with greater choice and appeal to different guest segments.

Hotels have historically focused on personalization through targeted marketing intended to drive bookings. However, research shows that now, in the face of industry disruptors like AirBnB, 27 percent of hotels are rethinking hotel and room design to be more “apartmentlike.” As a result, personalization is becoming increasingly oriented toward the room experience, as hotels seek to provide amenities and services catered to guests’ specialized lifestyles.

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Balancing Hospitality with Technology

April 3rd, 2017 | Posted by APT in Hospitality & Travel - (Comments Off on Balancing Hospitality with Technology)

From mobile check-in apps to beacon technology and virtual reality (VR) headsets, hotels are pushing the envelope with cutting-edge innovations every day. With guest expectations for unique and personalized experiences steadily rising, introducing new gadgets is a key strategy to maintain guest loyalty and drive new business. But as exciting as these new tech tools may be, delivering service with a human touch is critical to overall guest satisfaction and financial growth in the hospitality industry.

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Wooing the High-Value Customer: Elite Loyalty Programs and Premium Upgrades

March 1st, 2017 | Posted by APT in Hospitality & Travel - (Comments Off on Wooing the High-Value Customer: Elite Loyalty Programs and Premium Upgrades)

Would you pay three hundred thousand dollars for a ski-themed travel package?

Air Canada is hoping to attract customers who will. The airline’s extravagant ski package includes ice skating on the world’s largest outdoor rink, skiing in the mountains, and a dog sled excursion. As part of this deluxe offering, Air Canada is even converting a private jet into a “flying ski chalet.”

While this may be a particularly posh example, it addresses a question many airlines and hotel brands alike are asking themselves: How can we attract and retain high-value customers? Luxurious, one-of-a-kind offerings like Air Canada’s ski package are one strategy in the competition to engage with this group. Many airlines and hotels are also introducing programs like premium services and elite loyalty tiers to capture more high-value customers’ business. In the war to attract the most valuable customers, it’s key for companies to understand whether new offerings actually lead to increased customer spend and new business, or simply generate profits from existing customers who were already loyal to the brand.

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The “Poshtel” Appeal: Driving Engagement to Enhance the Guest Experience

February 6th, 2017 | Posted by APT in Hospitality & Travel - (Comments Off on The “Poshtel” Appeal: Driving Engagement to Enhance the Guest Experience)

Just three percent of the world’s hostel properties are located in the U.S. and Canada, and they account for only 10 percent of hostel revenue worldwide; as a comparison, hotel revenue in those markets is 28 percent of global revenue. Considering that the hostel industry generates $5.2 billion in annual revenue, it appears that there is room for growth in the U.S. hostel market. Hostels are already rising in popularity as an affordable option for accommodations, and redefining the conventional industry model.

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