Are You Targeting These Two Valuable Travel Segments?

By Sarah Etter

May 21, 2013

Here’s good news for travel and hospitality websites: In mature global travel markets, growth will remain consistent.

But there’s a catch.

For companies that want to exceed that growth, it’s critical to make the most of every single customer interaction so mastering upsells and add-ons is becoming more important.

Carroll Rheem, principal analyst at PhoCusWright, noted during The Traveler’s Appetite for Ancillary Products webinar, that the next question becomes how much potential there is for upsells and cross-sells in the travel and hospitality market.

According to PhoCusWright’s research (in a survey commissioned by Monetate), between 10% and 20% of travelers report never being interested in purchasing ancillary products.

The upside to that metric is that the large majority of travelers have some level of interest in purchasing ancillary products.

“There’s a ton of opportunity here. To me, this data says interest in ancillary offers is largely situational,” Rheem said. “For merchandisers, if you are targeting someone when they aren’t interested, it just becomes clutter. So watching the signs to find out when someone is interested is very important.”

That means turning to data to determine exactly when to target ancillary offers to certain travelers can ensure upsells and cross-sells resonate. Which data should you review to uncover the best segments and timing? Here’s what the survey found:

Age

Rheem noted that the survey found there’s a strong relationship with age when it comes to interest in ancillary products. Let’s take a look at the stats for interest in airline offers:

Age Chart

“Ultimately, younger travelers are a bit more likely to say they are interested in ancillary offers more often,” Rheem said. And this trend carried across to lodging and car rentals, as well, suggesting travel and hospitality websites might want to try targeting more of these types of offers to younger visitors.

Frequency of Travel

PhoCusWright also uncovered that infrequent travelers are less likely to be interested in ancillary offers compared to those who travel frequently. Let’s look at the stats: Frequency Chart

According to Rheem, while frequent travelers are a small segment, they are still ideal for targeting ancillary offers to, especially since they are often in loyalty programs. But it’s also important to keep in mind that less frequent travelers make up the majority of the responders to this survey, and travel and hospitality brands would do well to find a compelling way to offer upsells and cross-sells to this segment.

In the end, using data to uncover segments and trends can help travel and hospitality firms more effectively time and target their upsell and cross-sell messaging to the right visitors at the right time based on the type of trip they are booking.

To find out more, be sure to check out the archived PhoCusWright webinar, which also features Blair Lyon, Monetate’s VP of Marketing. And to make your upsell and cross-sell offers even more persuasive—such as knowing when during the booking process it’s best to display those promotions—check out The Travel Guide to Upselling and Cross-Selling infographic below.

MT007-Upselling-and-Cross-Selling_FINAL-620x2927

Sarah Etter is the former the senior editor at Monetate. Before joining Monetate, she was a writer for various online and print publications, and served as the associate editor of The Internet & Marketing Report newsletter. Sarah also loves fiction writing and ice hockey... yes, ice hockey.

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