Four Ways to Set Your Loyalty Program Apart: Travel Edition
Roughly 88% of consumers want to engage with brands that are setting new standards in meeting their expectations. Loyalty programs are an effective way for brands to leverage this affinity and encourage customers to continue shopping or engaging with the brand. In terms of travel, almost half of the customers enrolled in such loyalty programs (44%) prioritize earning rewards over finding the lowest costs when traveling, showcasing how much they truly value their favorite loyalty brand.
At Rocket Travel by Agoda, we have nearly 10 years of experience working with some of the largest travel loyalty brands in the world. We’re constantly looking at trends, identifying what matters most to the traveler and helping our partners expand that brand affinity.
Here’s how you can level up your travel loyalty program
1. Provide personalized loyalty rewards
Customers expect more than just a generic message or loyalty offering. They want relevant and tailored offers which speak directly to their needs and interests.
Personalized loyalty rewards use data analytics to provide targeted content on a customer-by-customer basis. To make a loyalty program even more engaging, companies should consider creating tiers or levels that customers can “unlock” the ability to accumulate more miles or points as they make purchases. (e.g., tiered rewards by loyalty membership tier, co-brand card holder status, VIP rewards, etc.).
Companies can also provide bundled offerings, which gives additional experiences of services that customers value such as concierge customer service, instant accrual, boosted rewards.
These offerings create a sense of achievement and motivates customers to continue earning rewards or purchase more to improve their overall experience. By understanding key travel destination preferences, booking behavior, and needs, partners can deliver relevant offers on their white-label travel booking platforms which resonate with customers and drive better engagement.
2. Leverage user-generated content
User-generated content is when individuals or consumers create original content related to a product or service. This comes by way of reviews, images, social media and testimonials. Shoppers trust user-generated content 6.6 times more than branded content. In today’s ever-changing landscape of social media outlets, customers are seeking insights from more relevant and trusted sources.
For loyalty brands, it’s extremely important to leverage this user-generated content in a way that is both authentic and relevant. Roughly 86% of people say brand authenticity is important to them. This can be a primary way to improve brand equity and authenticity while driving loyalty outside of many traditional marketing methods used by companies today.
By leveraging customer advocacy, companies can build trust and credibility with their customers, leading to increased loyalty and engagement.
Rocket Travel by Agoda has implemented this approach using their B2C brand, rocketmiles.com. By leveraging user-generated content on social media, we were able to share organic content and explain how the customer was able to use the travel platform for earning or redeeming miles on hotels.
3. Use a mobile-first approach
With mobile usage steadily increasing, organizations must continue to optimize content and further develop their brand strategy through a mobile-first approach.
Rocket Travel by Agoda recognizes that having a mobile-friendly, responsive design is important. That’s why our teams complete all web work on mobile first, then scale to our tablet and desktop experiences. During our development stage, we prioritize what the most prominent content should be at each step in the booking process to ensure a high-quality user experience for travelers on the go. This not only improves the customer experience overall, but boosts repeat engagement while driving higher conversions.
4. Innovation and design led by customer feedback
According to a study, 66% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. Travel loyalty programs must be in constant communication with their customers to better understand what they like about their experience and what their pain points are. Monitoring booking trends and customer analytics helps travel loyalty brands optimize their solutions for continued growth and affinity.
Rocket Travel by Agoda knows our partners are always looking to maintain customer loyalty and remain relevant in the travel market. Through our partner-centric approach, we work to understand our partners' customers and give them a reason to continue booking through their white-label travel platforms.
We recognize that building the right product for our partners and the right experience for their customers is the highest priority. Pursuant to that mission, while our platform allows us to develop at speed and scale, we always keep in mind our partners and their customer specific needs. Our team is constantly testing, talking to customers, and innovating our product.
A recent innovation that is being showcased in the market is our shopping cart functionality, which allows customers to pick multiple product types (think a plane ticket, two hotel options, etc.), keep the options in the shopping cart similar, and then choose which options are most optimal for final purchase. The unchosen options will stay in a customer’s cart and the pricing will refresh upon return.
We also have many partners that have utilized our boost innovation which allows customers to earn more points or miles at the time of transaction. This concept of upselling and providing incremental rewards drives further brand affinity and repeat engagement. Both of these innovations came from internal hypotheses that were then tested and reviewed by real customers.
Your technology partner in travel loyalty
Loyalty programs are dependent on the customer experience. Success comes from listening to the customer and offering personalized rewards, mobile-friendly options and innovative ways to earn or redeem their rewards.
With our experience in travel loyalty, working with a diverse set of regional and global travel loyalty brands, Rocket Travel offers the assurance of a seamless product and highly-motivated team which consistently delivers results that ultimately benefits the customer.
If you’re interested in partnering with Rocket Travel by Agoda to set your loyalty program apart, contact us today.