How to Reach Today’s Travelers and Omnichannel Consumers

By Douglas Ralston, President and CEO of OmniExperience

Despite the rapid growth of mobile and engagement, humans and consumers still crave physical contact and physical places of meeting. The connection point here is connecting the dots that your visitor or retail experience allows them to learn, engage and experience what they want deeper.

Physical stores still account for 90% of retail sales although that is changing, as younger generations define their own paths to engagement and experience. The key is whether you are a retail store or a visitor center, 60% of consumers and travelers still look for or actively seek brands with both. In this blog, we will attempt to connect the dots between travel and retail in that both are selling a brand, and both have to adapt to the fact that connecting with your consumer is both online and offline.

57% of people surveyed perceived closing of a department store as a negative impact on both their experience, options, and even toward the brand. The bottom line is, communities and travelers want and need visitor centers and places to learn and connect: the key is its evolution just like with retail.

Social and consumer engagement is about utilizing social channels to promote your store and provide seamless ways to shop or learn, making it easier for customers and visitors to form and guide their own preferences and decisions. 30% of travelers and shoppers are likely to connect, learn or purchase through a social network.
73% of consumers say content on brands makes social platforms more useable, and 29% say they would be likely to follow brands on social media. As well 35% of social users are likely to check your social feeds to learn more and 80% or less likely to engage if you are not responding or keeping updated content.

Mobile accounts for 62% of shoppers and travelers the connection between these platforms and your brick and mortar has to be solid, 90% of consumers will use multiple devices to complete everyday tasks, over 40% use if to conduct research prior to making a purchase. (Google)

By 2021, mobile and interactive engagement will increase to over 54%, 64% of digital research for travel and shopping is done on consumer’s smartphone first. 51% will engage with organizations than they originally intended because of information provided at the moment they needed it. (Google)

Think about this for a minute from visitor experience; this opens the door to allow you to truly shape where visitors go, how they engage. If you have over-tourism or negative experiences, you can help guide them to the location and place that will provide them the experience they truly want. Both from physical locations to mobile engagement.

The Customer Experience

Consumers now have more options than ever and competing on an attraction or price alone won’t continue to grow your engagement. Brands that offer connection and exceptional experience both online and offline will be the leaders in this new generation. 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as price and service. 67% say they will pay more for great experiences. (Salesforce)

Organizations that lead in customer experience outperform S&P by nearly 80%, what this means is they retain a higher share of their spend, your stakeholders, hotels, and brand have to evolve their experience. Imagine organizations that invest in experience are seven times more likely to drive customers to engage or purchase with them, and 15 times more likely to spread positive word of mouth. (Qualtrics)

I will wrap this up with two points: Consistency of customer and traveler experience and tools that can help you on this journey. Only one-quarter of organizations are able to evolve their messaging across channels. Knowing that everything we have heard above is about the experience, timely data and personalization what can you do to connect the dots between online and offline worlds. Keep in mind 58% of millennial consumers are willing to share data for personalized recommendations. You must provide them a clear means of engaging and what this result will do to help them have a better experience.

To help with this connection point the evolution of internal data points call customer data platforms are now here, this is the ability to connect numerous data points and provide a unified persistent customer ID connection. This means both online and offline connections can come together, and if done properly you can start to build the profiles that allow you to take your offline data and truly build three key components. Customer journey management, optimized marketing messaging, and prioritize high performing customer segments. I know this was a big jump from looking at the evolution of consumer data, but I thought it’ll be fitting to leave you with some new technology ideas to explore.

If we can help you on this journey and if you want to learn what 100’s of other travel and retails organizations are doing, don’t hesitate to reach out, we love what we do at OmniExperience and are always happy to help provide information and guidance.

About the Author

Doug Ralston
President & CEO
OmniExperience
Throughout his 20 years of tenure with the technical and digital industry, Doug continuously reinforces a seamless solution for marketing and industrial development. He focused his career creating impactful products in order to redefine brand experience, which eventually steered technology businesses to Fortune 500 companies such as Symantec, Panasonic, Microsoft, Cisco, and Citrix. Doug's industry-wide background in a commerce solution, sales, social, and digital strategy also equipped him to work with some of the biggest brands in travel, hospitality, and retail commerce.