It is estimated that some $676 billion dollars was spent in the travel industry through digital channels this year. This highlights just how important e-commerce is to travel brands - but are you maximising the customer journey.

A report compiled by Skift and Rokt says the customer journey with a brand starts from the moment of purchase. The transaction moment is when consumers are most happy and, therefore, open to further discovery.

It is during this peak moment of purchasing intent that consumers are most likely to engage in further interaction with the brand. It’s therefore important to understand what to offer customers in the right moment.

An insightful report published by Eye for Travel mentions that it’s important for travel brands to understand the type of traveller you are connecting with. If you don’t know your audience, then you don’t know what content or offers they will find of interest.

The report suggests the best way to determine what your customers are most likely to be interested in is by leaving a “trail of clues” in the content that prompted them to book with your brand.

At the heart of upselling is addressing the customers needs before they reach the checkout stage. Content that excites them along the customer journey actively takes them from the dreaming stage to the planning stage whilst they are booking.

Let’s take a look at some examples.

Know Your Travellers

Reports surfacing in the travel industry over the past year have shown that travel habits are changing. They also reveal that Generation X tend to overspend whilst millennial families are leading the growth in domestic travel.

The North Dakota tourist board have had some success in producing targeted content that is aligned to the interests of their visitors. Not only does North Dakota attract more visitors y-on-y, they are spending more as well.

In an interview with Phocuswire, Chief marketing officer at Hilton Hotels, Kellyn Smith Kenny explains the importance of making sure the lines between travel categories are not blurred. The goal for Hilton is to deliver relevant content to each of their customers.

Air New Zealand has also shown that bravery, and stepping out-the-box can have positive effects from video marketing campaigns. Although the airline’s safety video attracted criticism from the industry, it proved to be a hit with their YouTube audience, generating more than 16 million views.

Ritz-Carlton are also attempting a new approach to travel marketing by hosting a competition inviting five film makers to finish a story; a couple walks into a Ritz-Carlton hotel - what happens next?

The competition attracted some 450 entries and the five winning filmmakers have been sponsored by the hotel chain to film their videos. The trailer for the video is has already clocked up 3.6k views in a little under a month.

With video playing an integral role for travel brands, marketers now have to contemplate how they can adapt content that appeals to specific categories of travellers. When you know your audience, you know what else they will be interested in buying.