Regardless of your market, if you desire to improve customer experience, first you want to understand your customers’ holistic perception of their experience with your business or brand.  

CX is the result of every interaction a customer has with your business, from navigating the website to talking to customer service and receiving the product/service they bought from you. Everything you do impacts your customers’ perception and their decision to keep coming back or not—so a great customer experience is key to success.

56% of CEOs and 66% of top managers are involved in Customer Experience (Lumoa) 

Traveling and Tourism 

  • 48% percent of U.S. smartphone users are comfortable researching, booking and planning their entire trip to a new travel destination using only a mobile device. (Source: TrekkSoft)
  • 90% of travelers worldwide say they expect a personalized experience when they book their travel. (Source: Medium)
  • Experience is the name of the game in travel today. In fact, 67% of high-income travelers said they would rather spend their money on activities than a nicer hotel room. (Source: Skift
  • In the U.S., 26% of travel searches in the fourth quarter of 2018 occurred on a mobile device. (Source: Sojourn
  • Local Travel-related searches for “tonight” and “today” have grown over 150% on mobile, over the past two years.

Hospitality

  • 65% of millennial travelers say they wanted automated check in, check out
  • Cosmopolitan Las Vegas found that hotel guests who text its chatbot, Rose, spend up to 30% more money than those who don’t. (Source: Skift
  • 94% of business travelers and 80% of leisure travelers value the ability to use their smartphones to request service and message hotel staff.
  • According to Deloitte’s guest experience survey, when hotels understand their guests, stay frequency increases by 13 percent.
  • 61% of hotel guests are attracted to a hotel loyalty program based on experiences rather than a point-based system.

Retail

  • 53% of millennial shoppers feel that store associates do not have the tools they need to deliver great customer service,  (Salesforce)
  • 54% of consumers feel more loyal to brands that show a deep understanding of their preferences and priorities (Wunderman).
  • The majority of consumers (80%) are more likely to purchase from a company that offers personalized experiences. – Edelman
  • 87% of consumers begin their shopping journey with digital, a jump from 71% in 2017. – Salesforce
  • 82% of consumers consult their phones while they’re in a store deciding what product to buy. One in 10 of those people end up buying a different product than they had planned. – Think With Google

Food Service

  • 74% of customers say an easy to read menu is their top priority.
  • 80% of adults have seen digital signage in the past month and 70% subsequently made an unplanned purchase.
  • 29.5% of customers find digital menus influential for purchase of product.
  • 30% increase in consumer spending when ordering through self-service (McDonalds)
  • “Customers of all ages are now looking for digital interactions in restaurants, especially ones that provide them with a faster and easier dining experience,” Faily says.

Send us an email and we’ll be more than happy to share with you what we have learned and done and how we can help you accomplish your customer and brand experience goals [email protected]

An investment made in technology to deliver an improved visitor experience and generating better revenue goes hand-in-hand. Therefore, the shifting industries of travel, hospitality and retail need to understand the need for delivering a better guest experience and the ways in which it can benefit their organization.  The culmination of these solutions help travelers and customers engage on their terms and allow you to build brand value and revenue 

Customers don’t just glance—they engage

Image result for omnichannel experience

     

Digital Signage has Reach and Saturation

  • 70% of Americans say they’ve seen a digital display in the past month
  • 52% say they’ve seen a digital sign in the past week
  • 47% remember seeing a specific ad or message
  • Recall jumps to 55% when talking about outdoor digital billboards
  • 80% of shoppers say they have entered a store because a digital sign caught their interest

Self service Kiosk is changing the industry

PWA- Progressive Web Apps Improving engagement through mobile devices.

  • The Best Western River North Hotel sees 300% increase in revenue with new Progressive Web App.
  • Uber´s PWA was designed to be fast even on 2G. The core app is only 50k zipped and takes less than 3 seconds to load on 2g networks.
  • Trivago saw an increase of 150% for people who add its PWA to the home screen. Increased engagement led to a 97% increase in click outs to hotel offers. 
  • Grand Velas Rivera Maya resort increased its Black Friday conversion rate by 53% due to its progressive web apps ́s speed and notifications.
  • Ad clickthrough rates increased 3x on Wego ́s PWA. They’ve seen 26% more visitors and 95% more conversions overall. 

Contact us today to learn about how you can easily implement tech solutions to help increase customer experience and engagement.  We can help you through a phased approach step by step, to easily integrate these solutions into your existing customer-facing processes.   [email protected]

There are many companies in the tourism sector (travel, hotels, transport, etc.) that are already taking on the challenge of updating their mobile strategy betting on Progressive Web Apps technology as a result of the many advantages it offers.

Progressive Web Apps or PWA, is a term for the next generation of mobile applications  They increase their functionality according to the capabilities of the device and browser in which they are executed and that is why they are progressive. In addition, PWAs are developed using web development standards such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, all this together with a new generation of JavaScript APIs, makes the result of these developments behave like native applications but through the use of web technologies.

It is clear then that the Progressive Web Apps are not a new technology but an important technological trend since the compatibility in the different platforms is getting bigger.

There are many advantages offered by Progressive Web Apps for the travel-based organizations,  developers and final users of these applications. The bottom line is native apps in this industry are not being downloaded, they are heavy and the performance many times not up to the speed of the customer.  Here are a few PWA advantages to consider.

Improved design compared to hybrid apps, PWA´s have improvements in performance and greater visibility.

Cost of development: Being developed under web technologies costs significantly less development since if you only have to build once for both platforms. iOS, Android

Visibility: Improved visibility and a greater commitment of users; saving time and money.

Usability:  The PWA executes on the web can be executed on any device which gives them the ability to adapt to the screen on which they are displayed.

Distribution: These applications are distributed as a web page through a URL by a browser and this is clearly a great advantage for Progressive Web Apps as they do not have to go through the App Store or Google Play for distribution.

Direct Updates: With a Progressive Web App, all updates are applied directly and users should not download any updates on their devices as it happens with native Apps.

Greater visibility;  simple promotion. As we have said before, PWAs are accessible from a URL which allows all the content created for a Progressive Web App to be indexable from the search engines.
Improved functionalities and increased conversion. PWAs allow developers to activate push notifications until now reserved for native apps. And not only on mobile devices but also on desktop.

There is no debate over the importance of mobile for travel companies. All competent web development teams build websites to be responsive these days, but you need to ask yourself is this sufficient to stand alone and meet the travel and engagement needs of travelers in today’s marketplace where experience and personalization are king. 

Do you want to learn more about moving your travel organization to Progressive Web App? Send us an email and we’ll be more than happy to share with you what we have done and how we can help you accomplish your visitor experience goals. [email protected]

The visitor center traffic is decreasing, the next generation of traveler doesn’t see the value in the VIC as with previous generations. Utilizing their phones to give them direction and recommendations for travel is now a commonplace. Just as with retail, there is a huge shift in the way consumers interact with brands and this is no different with travel. In retail, for many years it was known as the death of brick and mortar, but we all know that is not actually the case, it’s the evolution of these industries and if you don’t evolve you die.

Visitor Centers into Experience Centers

One of the problems we are seeing is visitor centers are waiting too long to evolve, and with this delay and the increase in technology adoption cycles if they don’t change fast it will be too late.  Communities and even visitors still want the VIC, they just want it to evolve in their terms just like retail.

The economics of the visitor center like retail don’t make sense unless you have a plan to be relevant and connect with your consumer. In retail, it’s called conversation rates and it’s studied extensively to ensure its at min. of 25% level. However, to understand how to better engage, you must implement some traditional and digital tools to help evolve your centers.   Let’s take an example from retail to help guide us. The items below focus on retail, but many learning lessons can be had from design, engagement tool to staff training.

See some of our other blogs on Visitor Center technology and solutions you can implement to attract the next generation of traveler.  As well a good article on studies on this topic. https://destinationthink.com/visitor-centre-4-criteria-can-help/

Ways to Increase Conversion

Reference: https://www.vendhq.com/blog/increase-conversion-rate-retail/

  1. Set up your store for success.

The very first thing you’ll want to look at is how your store is set up. Where are the displays? 

Here are some ideas:

  • Use your “power wall” wisely. If you’re in the US (or a country where people drive on the right side of the road), use your right wall to make a big statement, because customers naturally turn to the right when they walk in. 
  • Remove excess merchandise from the floor (i.e., only have one of each size or product on the floor) to keep the store from looking cluttered.  This is a good example of brochure walls, organize them and keep them lean start pushing more toward digital content
  • Mind your decompression zonewhich is the first 5 to 15 feet inside your front door. Shoppers who are in this part of your store are prone to distractions, which is why most experts agree that retailers should keep the decompression zone simple and uncluttered. Avoid placing too many products or fixtures in this area, as people will likely just walk right by them.
  1. Hide your queue.

Customers can be easily spooked if they see a lengthy queue. The good news is that there are a number of ways to fix this.

  • Put your registers in the back. You’ll notice that many stores do this. New York & Co., for instance, places their registers at the center-back of the store by the fitting rooms. 
    • This could mean opening up your center to allow easy connection points and utilizing technology while people wait in line.
  • Get rid of the registers all together and go mobile. By allowing your employees to ring customers anywhere on the floor, you’ll get rid of your queue altogether.
    • This could mean Kiosks, or Touch experiences as well as a combination of tablet devices to help visitors in new ways.
  1. Staff according to traffic, not just sales.

Many stores will schedule their staff, according to hours where the most sales are made, rather than the amount of traffic walking through the door. By switching to heavily staffing when there are many customers in the store, your employees will be able to more effectively help everybody, which will likely result in an uptick in sales.

  1. Recognize that your employees play a huge role in boosting conversions.

This point is part and parcel of the previous point. Not only do you need to be well-staffed, but it’s essential that you train your employees well. In terms of increasing your conversion rate, there are some important things your staff can be taught to do:

  • Have them greet and engage each and every customer in the store.

An easy method to ensure that your staff is greeting everyone is to have someone work the front zone specifically to greet people.

  • Train your staff on how to prompt customers to share what they’re looking for.

The bulk of this is to ensure that they don’t ask yes or no questions. For instance, “Can I help you find something?” will most often be met with “No.” But “What are you looking for today?” requires the shopper to engage with the question a bit more, even if the answer is negative.

  • Put in the effort — and mean it.

Once your staff member has identified the customer’s wants/needs, train them to go above and beyond in solving these problems. When your employees are putting in a huge amount of effort, they will most likely come up with a great solution. 

  1. Give free samples, nibbles, or drinks.

Ever wonder why Costco has made free samples a part of their business model? It’s for a number of reasons, but the main one is that, as Dan Ariely, a Duke University behavioral economist, says, “Reciprocity is a very, very strong instinct.” Basically, when Costco gives you a free sample, you feel obliged to do something for them. Ariely also points out that free samples remind you of cravings you have, making you want to buy what you just sampled.

If you’re selling something that can’t be given away as samples, then find something else to offer. Several retailers are now serving drinks to get people to come in and linger.

  • Think about special maps, hiking guides, things for kids or animals
  1. Use social proof.

Social proof means showing your customers that other people have bought or want to buy your products. The most obvious example is when an online store offers reviews of a product on its page. You can replicate this in your store as well!

  • Look at ways to engage visitors through UGC or ways to show them other people or families enjoying this experience
    • Ratings and reviews are not a bad way either

In Amazon’s physical locations, for instance, each printed product tag contains a snippet of a highly starred review from their website, clearly demonstrating that others have bought and loved the product. McDonald’s offers another option: tell your customers how many people have bought from you. 

  1. Get customers to invest time with you.

The more time a customer spends in your store, the more likely they are to purchase something. The Wall Street Journal actually says that you can see up to a 40% sales increase from encouraging your customers to hang around. How to effectively encourage your shoppers to linger, so here are the highlights:

  • Offer amenities to make shopping easier and more fun. Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary & Supply, for instance, has a children’s corner in the back of the store for parents shopping with kids. Happy kids = happy shoppers, after all. 
  • Train your employees to help your customers spend time in the store. Jumping back up that winery example, part of educating customers about your wine is giving out awesome free education, but another part is that the more the employee converses with the customer, the more time the customer has invested in that winery.
  • Visitor Center option is to provide free itinerary building, trail guides or ways to get the most of the time they have
  • As well saving them money with coupons, or discount ticketing gets them engaged with your local offerings
  1. Use technology to improve your experience

Allowing customers to connect in the manner they like is core to any retail-based organization, allowing kiosk look up of inventory items or visuals and videos of people interacting with products increases engagement by over 50%.   Utilizing options for mobile engagement allowing customers to search their phones connected to your inventory and giving them reasons to build points or rewards will allow you to get more favor. Finally providing traditional models that allow your staff to engage on the floor or behind the counter using tablets and technology that make the experience faster and more personalized.

Douglas Ralston Profile

Written by Doug Ralston, an omnichannel technology pioneer, and hotel owner.

Numerous businesses across the world have perceived how important it is to include contemporary digital marketing and technology to attain constant revenue and growth. The last decade has actually seen incredible breakthroughs and innovations in the portrait of digital solutions which includes the travel and tourism sector as well. Digital Signage and Kiosks allow tourists to feel connected while traveling by drawing people in and making information more readily available.  Here you will find the trends of Digital Concierge and visitor centers.

Virtual Concierge

“Virtual Concierge”

A concierge or visitor center staff helps travelers adjust and navigate their new location. They provide information about the area, educate visitors and open up doors to learning and make informed travel decisions by updating users with live and local information. The Kiosk, interactive self-service solution allows staff and travelers alike to see interactive maps, events, directions, hiking trails, transportation and more.  Providing a new digital way to engage on the traveler’s own terms.

“Over 1 in 3 travelers across countries are interested in using digital assistants, including touchscreens, local resources or online AI options to research or book travel, with top interest in things to do in-destination”

Promoting local businesses and shops

Digital signage provides an advertising platform for local businesses. It connects visitors to local shops and restaurants. This is the self-service solution that encourages travelers to explore the area and promote revenue for local businesses. On top of that, it provides up to date information on anything going on in the destination and connects visitors to experience throughout the destination.

Wayfinding

Digital signage helps tourists navigate their destination and encourages travelers to explore their surrounding area with interactive information. The Kiosks wayfinding capabilities make it easy for travelers to learn about attractions in the area and find the best, direct route from point A to point B.  It also allows staff members to help navigate and send map directions over email or text for future usage.

Internet of Things (IoT)

One of the most exciting emerging travel technology trends is the Internet of Things (IoT), which involves internet-based inter-connectivity between everyday devices, allowing them to both send and receive data. As of the moment, we are seeing examples of its role within the travel and tourism industry and this is only going to increase.  Providing options for sharing, navigating and even keeping up with your family and tour groups.

New ways for collecting data & analytics 

Collecting analytics is a great way to measure return on investment and the effectiveness of content.  Photobooths, Surveys, Guestbooks, and even demographic recognition help you to learn more about your travelers and their preferences while providing fun ways to engage.  The knowledge gained from analytics can then be leveraged to tailor content for visitors and increase ROI.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the ability to create customized recommendations based on a user’s preference and past travel experiences. It sounds invasive, but in fact, 57% of U.S. travelers want brands to use their data to personalize their travel recommendations and experiences. And according to the same source, 36% of these people would be willing to pay more for such a personalized experience.

More than 80% of companies who prioritize customer experience are reporting an increase in revenue.

If you want to learn more about utilizing your existing digital displays and kiosks at any high traffic area, we’ll be happy to provide you with some simple and comprehensive options. Call or email us at [email protected]