Maximise the use of bd4travel’s technology to minimise churn on your website. One of our clients recently trialled targeted in-session incentives to prevent users from exiting the site and instead transition them to bookers.

A common problem 

With a glut of travel information available online, holidaymakers often fall into one of two camps – the ‘just book something’ group (those who book on a whim and often travel at short notice) and the ‘planners’ (those who take their time, consider different destinations, accommodation options, flight operators and multiple dates). In 2019, 43% of British travellers were found to spend longer researching and booking a holiday than the trip itself! And the additional complexity of finding a trip in sync with the ever-evolving Covid-situation does not make things easier.

As a travel website, standing out in a competitive marketplace is key – as is speaking to each and every one of your users as an individual, helping them feel valued and wanted by your company. How can you hold on to your hard-earned visitor, service them well and convert them to booking?

Avoiding the revenue pitfall of a standard solution

Using standard interventions, such as a pop-up triggered as a user goes to exit your site, is an engaging way marketers can sway online users to book. However, the majority of these pop-ups message the same generic discount or offer to every user, with no context specific to the individual user.

And let’s face it, knowing the context is key to maximising your revenues. Let’s imagine Customer A has visited your website multiple times in the last few days, looking at specific holidays and has narrowed their search down to two – or even just one – holiday option. They haven’t booked yet, but it’s only because they’re waiting for their friend’s details or pending their boss approving their time off work. But they will book – and soon, most likely imminently.

Meanwhile, Customer B has been searching on the site, looking at multiple destinations and styles of holiday, but just isn’t quite sure of their choice of holiday, or supplier. They’re a little more indecisive.

As Customer A and B exit the site, a standard pop-up offers them a generic, ‘one-size-fits-all’ discount code, which both use to book. Well done! You’ve had a win converting Customer B into a booker. But you’ve actually lost money on Customer A as they were ready to book at full price.

There is no sense in providing a discount or incentive to a user who doesn’t need it or value it, diluting your revenues and cutting into your profit margin unnecessarily. Many online sites optimise based on conversion, discounting products to drive bookings. With bd4travel, you can optimise your website for sales and profit, reducing churn but doing so in a tailored way that doesn’t hurt your bottom line.

Targeted approach to reducing churn and maximising revenue

Our technology analyses users through thousands of signals, collating a user profile in real-time to which you set rules for the AI to prioritise. The AI then predicts each user’s willingness to book, based on their profile, and identifies whether an incentive is actually needed to make them become a booker. The AI offers advanced levels of personalisation, predicting which user will be offered an incentive by understanding their purchasing behaviour. This supports intelligent and intuitive Precision Marketing strategies – targeting based on intent and driving action in your online users.

Taking it to the next level

In the current market, it can be tricky for travel companies to understand their users in real-time with many taking a ‘sprinkler’ approach to marketing – showering different offers and content to multiple segments to see which sticks. By combining AI technology with your market knowledge and business priorities, you can find out in real-time who is price sensitive, what stage people are at in their buying journey, and assess their other variables such as concerns over safety and comfort.

Using our Machine Learning technology, you can analyse thousands of customer touchpoints and gauge their intent on booking. Our targeted incentives help you reduce churn and increase conversions by presenting an in-session promotional code to individuals – not segments – who are open to a small nudge to convince them to book, incentivising them to book on that visit.

How does it work? 

It works within the bd4travel Experience Manager Module, utilising the power of our Audience Manager, Catalogue Manager and Placement Manager. Once implemented, tests are run to shape the audience selection process, letting you know how large the expected audience would be, then the targeted promotion goes live, with promotion codes offered to some of the users recognised as eligible.

The AI continues learning to ensure it is optimised by displaying the promo code for some – not all – eligible users, refining the offer display parameters to ensure you are only providing a discount to the most relevant users, optimising for profit, not primarily for conversion. While it may mean only a small percentage of your users see the offer, it does mean you aren’t giving discounts to people who will already book with you, like Customer A in the example above.

The results – including number of promotions displayed, bookings and revenue generated through the promotion code, and user engagement (click rates; pop up close rates) are available at your fingertips in your bd4travel dashboard. You can also refine the technology further by A/B testing it against a control group which doesn’t receive incentives, or look at different levels of an offer to gauge where customer action can be swayed. Different audiences can also be defined based on eligibility rules and business priorities.

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