Big Data, AI, and Strategic Investment In Customer Experience
New advancements in machine learning have made analysing large sets of customer data easier than ever before. Using this data for segmentation to build a 3-D picture of your customers and offer them more and more personalization in their customer journey, almost always increases conversion rates – so it’s no wonder Big Data and AI have become industry buzz words.
But be warned – with this new technology comes new responsibility, in the form of GDPR, the new data protection legislation taking effect in May 2018. This will present huge challenges for some of the biggest players both in the hotel industry and technology industry in general, such as Facebook and Google.
Here are some of this week’s most interesting reads on this topic:
The Digital Age is truly the era of knowing many things, but given our access to incessant tribal chatter across social platforms, the equal coexistence of facts and alternate facts along side news and fake news, one could rightly feel as though we humans may have access to more information than is necessary or even helpful.
Despite such misgivings, I think we are better people because of our access to plentiful data. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to revive an analogy that was first offered to me when I was a Cub Scout: Data, particularly ‘big data,’ is like fire – used wisely it can light our way, allay our fears and give us warmth. Used foolishly, it can be destructive and devastating. The most useful objective, therefore, is not fire prevention but meaningful fire management – learning to discern the difference between quantity and quality, and react accordingly.
There has been a lot of talk about advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning in recent years. Corporate travel providers are just now experimenting with the use of predictive analytics to guide strategic investments for the future.
In the corporate travel industry, where an exceptional traveler experience is crucial to success, data is the new currency. Data provides an in-depth look at your travel spend through actionable traveler insights.
We’ve analysed the data from nearly 13,000,000 hotel website sessions, including digital transactions, booking patterns and more, and compared what we are seeing with wider industry trends.
The report focuses on what our most prevalent data from the first half of 2017 is telling us right now. The report gives a clear insight into areas hoteliers need to shift their focus for the second half of the year.
Here’s a small selection of our findings:
- Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday are the most popular booking days, accounting for 50% of bookings combined.
- Mobile contributed 56% of total website visits.
- 40% of users abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load
Google and Facebook will be disrupted by the new European data protection rules that are due to apply in May 2018. This note explains how.
Google and Facebook will be unable to use the personal data they hold for advertising purposes without user permission. This is an acute challenge because, contrary to what some commentators have assumed, they cannot use a “service-wide” opt-in for everything. Nor can they deny access to their services to users who refuse to opt-in to tracking. Some parts of their businesses are likely to be disrupted more than others.
Your booking engine has a lot more going on under the hood than you might imagine. Specifically, it has a huge amount of usable data. Broken down properly, that data can be used to give your direct bookings a strong boost.
Online bookings are essential to driving hotel revenue – in 2016, nearly half of all hotel bookings in Europe came through online channels. With OTA commissions so high, many hotels know that their own website booking engines are key to bringing in bookings with profits. Even with marketing costs, direct bookings are less expensive than other online channels.