Evolution of loyalty programs – What travel marketers must learn from it

Travel market is ever-increasing and ever evolving just like its customers. Today’s consumers expect their brand to be highly personalized. And why wouldn’t they? With all the data available, both offline and online, they expect the travel brands to understand their preferences and choices. To better cater to their needs, travel club platforms have come up with several loyalty programs. In other words, travel clubs are the pioneers of such reward programs and have evolved completely to a business model.

To understand this evolution, we need to first understand the reasons driving this change. It all started when airlines and hotels joined forces to woo their customers with loyalty programs in the form of rewards. Airlines ventured into a spend-based model which accounts for the accumulation of “miles” on every purchase. Similarly, the hotels also tied up with the airlines and started offering multiple rewards such as free Wi-Fi or other amenities along with the stay. Pre-paid cards emerged as another lucrative option for many travelers. All this was done to improve the customer experience and streamline the process of travel.

Building on the Loyalty Programs

According to the trends, customers use multiple devices to search, shop or buy travel online. The customers are increasingly searching for the best rates online before making an actual purchase. They are using their smartphones or tablets in a sequential manner. In order to exhibit brand loyalty in travel marketplace, a travel brand needs to establish the competitive advantage with such loyalty programs. A travel brand can engage in providing tremendous value to the customer by utilizing the current digital trends.

To create a unique experience for customers, travel membership programs or travel loyalty programs are the best bet for travel startups. The travel businesses can leverage the key industry trends and incorporate into their offerings. For instance, a travel club can offer destination suggestions, flight reminders or personalized itinerary to engage directly with the customers. Many travel companies have mimicked these techniques to reap great financial rewards.

The online travel agencies should utilize the mobile apps and online resources to provide a rich consumer experience. The stats show that the entire process of travel is gaining momentum on the internet with growing mobile users. A leading travel company, Kayak, got over 900 million travel queries on its website in 2013, out of which 24% came via mobile platform. (Source) The consumers can easily familiarize with the travel clubs simply because of competitive price or offered amenities.

What to learn and expect?

The travel companies should embrace customer-centric strategies and develop them, one step at a time. Access to customer information can be utilized to offer highly personalized travel experience. This information can be leveraged to develop customer strategies, keeping in mind the key industry trends. A partnership with a travel club can successfully provide all that and give a great financial lift to your travel business. After all, travel clubs have thoroughly researched about loyalty programs before putting them into action. This is why Custom Travel Clubs can help the travel businesses to unleash their full potential by helping in both customer engagement and retention. With the right partnership and the right mindset, any travel business can successfully transform into a successful travel club. And that is loyalty.

Custom Travel Clubs are the leading B2B membership based travel club fulfillment company that creates, operates and helps market travel clubs for brands and organisations around the world. We provide white label travel club platforms & solutions.

Custom Travel Clubs has partnered with the best in the industry to provide best deals on travels to the members. Our Loyalty program provides the best rewards, benefits and savings to the members. We make it easy for members to save on travel so that they can take the vacations that matter. See the full list of all the travel benefits we provide.

For more info, contact:

Mike Putman
mike@customtravelclubs.com
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