13 Innovative ideas for travel companies to increase traffic, sales and profits
There are two moments in a travel business´ lifespan when it should focus on innovation and implementing improvements: when things are going great and during tough times (a.k.a Covid-19). Why during tough times? Well, during tough times, you need 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 revenue and income, not less 🙂. So in other words, companies should always be looking to improve! In this article we will share 13 innovative ideas for travel companies to increase traffic, sales and profits.
1. Publish daily low fare alerts on social media
Earning organic social media followers and engagement is becoming harder and harder. This requires companies to post very attractive and unique content in order to cause followers to engage and share. Say good-bye to the days where you can share a blog post or a nice photo and convert "likes" into customers. One strategy that works when implemented correctly and consistently is publishing low fare flight alerts on Facebook and Instagram.
When approaching this task, it´s vital to realize that this will not translate immediately into a revenue stream. However, after a period of time of doing this consistently and publishing incredible deals, you will start to attract more and more followers. Once you build a community, you can convert your followers into email sign ups, run your own promotions to the page followers and introduce them to your other products.
If you do not know how to find low fares, all you need to do is conduct a search on Skyscanner with these parameters:
2. Upsell something unique
Many sites offer multiple travel products and services to their customers. But in such a competitive landscape, wouldn´t it be wise to offer your customers ancillary products that are not commonly found on other sites? For example, instead of necessarily offering hotels, car rentals and travel insurance, think about offering a local culinary experience via a partnership with Eat With, or a "no-brainer" lost luggage retrieval service like Blue Ribbon Bags, which for only $5, you get peace of mind in case your luggage is lost (and a compensation of $1000 if they can´t retrieve it)
3. Monitor users´ interaction with your site
We are big believers in analyzing what you currently do prior to implementing innovative ideas to increase traffic, sales and profits. While Google Analytics provides a lot of data, nothing beats recording how users interact with our site. Lucky Orange allows you to setup tags within your site which allow you to filter, for example, users that have performed a certain action on your site or have reached a certain page on your site. Analyze where your visitors are abandoning your site and focus on AB testing possible improvements in order to increase conversions.
4. Use social proof to increase conversions
Analyze where your visitors are abandoning your site during the purchase process, and implement elements of social proof (testimonials, PR etc) in that section in order to help convince your visitor to move forward with the purchase.
5. Think about the kiddos
Make sure your user experience is tailored to families and offers great deals to destinations popular with kids. Try upselling family related products such as Disney entrance tickets. As you can see in the image below, family travel is trending more than solo or couple travel, so it´s wise to give it the necessary attention.
6. Convert your customers into advertisers
This is a great strategy for companies with low budgets. User generated content is close to free (you might want to compensate users who provide you content) and is also the most genuine. Ask your customers to send you their images from their vacations, hold a contest for blog entries detailing their trip (and of course mentioning they booked through your company) or reward users who create the best video promoting why to book a vacation through your company. This strategy is highly responsible for GoPro´s exponential growth.
7. Stop leaving money on the table
Travel companies aren´t maximizing the potential profit available when reselling hotels. Why? Because they don´t continue to re-shop hotel reservations after they already sold them. Why is it important to re-shop your reservation? Well, hotel prices tend to change 22 times from the moment you sold the hotel reservation up to the last date of free cancellation. So even if you think you got a great price through Supplier A the moment the reservation was booked, it doesn´t mean you actually booked the lowest available price, since 3 weeks later, a better offer for the same hotel room can appear on Supplier B.
Pruvo Revenue Maker is an AI-driven solution that automatically tracks hotel bookings you made on any provider, monitors their price 24/7 and helps increase your profitability by 36% by re-booking those reservations when their net price drops.
8. Implement beneficial features in your search engine
It´s hard to compete against the industry behemoths offering exactly the same features that they do. Spice up your search engine by offering something unique, for example, a broad flight search that allows users to search for flights to any destination, feature allowing to search during any month or offering monthly payments to spread the cost of your vacation like Love Holidays does
9. Implement a chat
It´s sooo hard & expensive to drive traffic to your site, so why not make the most out of the traffic you are getting?! Implementing a simple human (or AI) operated chat will help reduce churn and help those visitors with a high intent of booking proceed with their reservation.
10. Convert by giving a high value offer for free
Whether it be in order to convert visitors to users, or customers to ambassadors, offer something that is extremely useful and industry related that will be perceived as an high value gift. For example, invest in licensing or creating your own course on how to take epic images using your smartphone and offer that course for free in exchange for a certain action (signup, share, purchase etc). I for one would jump on a free course like that! Make sure though that this is not something that can be easily found on Youtube or on the web.
11. Attract visitors by building a tool
Creating a tool that provides immense value can become your number one source of traffic. Think of currency converters, body weight calculators etc. Take a look at Hubspot´s 2nd most traffic generating link:
So how can you implement this with travel? Research queries that are being frequently searched online and create a tool that provides the answer for this query. Take a look at this trendy search term:
Why not create a tool where the visitor enters their country of residence, their desired destination, and the tool will give input if a certain destination is accepting travelers from a certain country origin and if so, are there any special requirements (14 days quarantine, Covid-19 test prior to arrival etc)
12. Everyone loves chocolate!
For customers who booked multiple products on your website, why not surprise them with a box of chocolates sent to their hotel room? I bet you will get a social media mention and tag without even asking for it.
13. Modify copy to focus on benefits not features
What do you think attracts your customer more:
"Most downloaded travel app in Vietnam" or "App that saves you an average of $64 on flights worldwide"
Go over your website´s copy and anytime you see a mention of a feature, ask yourself "how does my customer benefit from this feature" and modify your copy in order to highlight the benefit for your customer.
Regardless of the current state of your travel business, now is the best time to implement innovative ideas to increase traffic, sales and profits. Out of these 13 tips, try implementing at least 2 or 3 and test the results!