Message from David Moran, CEO, Travelport Digital
As we welcome the New Year, I want to announce an important change at MTT. As of January 11th 2017, we are changing our name to "Travelport Digital".
The migration of our name to Travelport Digital is designed to mirror the transformation of our organization over the past 18 months, to reflect our position within the global Travelport Group and most importantly, to reflect our broadening product set and offerings which will touch not just the mobile opportunity, but also the wider digital travel opportunity.
While our name and logo will change, our mission and focus remain unchanged. We will continue to deliver the best in mobile and digital travel solutions for airlines, TMCs and other travel companies and their customers. We remain committed to enhancing travel with digital engagement solutions that redefine the travel experience, employing the best people, systems, tools and experience to make it happen and delivering award winning results for our customers.
As we move to our new name and look ahead to 2017 - I would like to take this opportunity to articulate what we see as the important overarching theme of ‘Experience and Engagement’ that will shape the mobile and digital travel landscape this coming year.
The Rise and Dominance of the On-Demand, Digital Experience Economy
We now live in an experience economy, underpinned by the value and quality of our engagements and interactions with brands and others. This is of particular relevance for the travel industry.
The era of today’s consumer and end-traveller is all about ‘Me’ and ‘My Experience’. It’s also a generational thing - as we have moved from Gen X to the increasingly digital savvy, demanding and impatient Gen Y and now Gen Z.
In the mobile and digital era, travel brands that win are those that meet customers’ needs for outstanding engagement and simplified compelling experiences. In particular, travel brands that understand and take advantage of the unique opportunities to connect with customers via mobile and digital — and their unique real-time engagement opportunities — will win.
The Power of Positive Digital Engagement
Great mobile and digital user experiences drive ‘positive behaviours’ that in turn lead to commercial benefits of increased customer loyalty and increased customer spend.
The role of mobile engagement in increasing the value of every interaction with every customer, cannot be understated.
Smart travel brands are leveraging mobile engagement effectively to bridge the gap between generic mobile and digital experiences and highly personalised, contextual digital travel experiences that adapt to different stages of the journey, take stress out of the travel experience and ensure a more ‘connected’ and personal experience. Airlines and travel companies that demonstrate an understanding of their customers on a one-to-one basis and respond to their specific needs at different stages of their travel, are the ones that will enjoy better loyalty from their customers and have the opportunity to convert this loyalty and ‘positive engagement’ into increased spend.
Moreover, enabling ‘surprise and delight moments’ along the way with new digital innovations or great design & UX that makes the experience seamless - also contributes to a powerful digital experience.
End-to-end Traveller Engagement to Build Relationships & Fuel Personalization
An often missed opportunity for travel apps is consistent engagement between bookings and knowing how to leverage digital channels to engage with customers from the discovery and research phase, all the way through to purchase, pre-trip engagement, day of travel support, in-trip and at destination. Airlines and travel brands can make their brands more relevant via digital engagement at each of these stages - by building relationships, not just transactions.
What is relevant to end-travellers changes at each step of their journey and it is vital to improve the overall travel experience by providing crucial information at every stage - from pre-trip alerts, information on flight delays and disruptions, general airport information like gate and security updates and airport navigation to in-flight and at destination services. Using mobile functionality like location aware functionality, push notifications, concierge and itinerary solutions, means airlines and travel companies can ensure they are providing travellers with information that supports and informs them at every stage.
Digital Immediacy, Real-time Engagement and In-the-Moment Messaging
Real-time engagement with relevant, timely and useful information for the end-traveller is extremely powerful. The scope which mobile provides for travel brands to instantly communicate with customers is hugely important especially in IROPS situations for example. The ability to immediately assist and inform end-travellers in the event of a major travel disruption whether that is as a result of natural disasters, severe weather circumstances or security threats is paramount. In many examples such as these, we have seen a surge in mobile activity from end-travellers relying on the immediate, real-time information that their airline or other travel provider can deliver via mobile.
Digital Engagement to Enable New Monetization Opportunities
Real-time, contextual, location based and personalized interactions combine to improve ancillary conversions. There is no doubt that mobile represents a unique opportunity for airlines and travel companies in creating new merchandising opportunities. It provides them with the potential to intelligently leverage passenger data to create offers and services that are personalised and relevant.
Without doubt, mobile and digital interaction have transformed the travel industry. End-traveller expectations for digital experiences are changing because of mobile and end-travellers increasingly expect digital interactions with brands to be real-time, contextual, personal, immediate, peppered with moments of surprise & delight and all the while, easy and intuitive.
For us at Travelport Digital, mobile and indeed wider digital travel strategies have to be focused on the customer experience and engagement opportunity. It is the only platform that can deliver the differentiation of extreme personalization, real-time one-to-one connections, and location based information - wherever customers may be, whatever stage of their customer journey.
Travelport Digital has over 10 years of experience and close to 300 passionate designers, engineers, user experience teams and others all focused exclusively on leveraging mobile and digital capabilities to support that seamless travel experience. With over 27 million downloads of our airline and other travel apps to date, digital services with airlines carrying over 210m PAX worldwide - we have in-depth experience of what makes a successful digital travel solution. If that experience has taught us anything, it is that the mobile channel and the mobile customer journey is unlike any other. A proven partner, such as Travelport Digital, is vital in order to realise truly compelling and engaging digital travel services.
We look forward to another year of exciting developments in this space, and to continuing to work with our customers in shaping new superior travel experiences.