- Consumers don't want to give up personal information: More than half of those surveyed don't want brands to have any of their personal information. Millennials are nearly twice as likely to believe that giving brands access to personal data will help them in their daily lives.
- Poor retargeting is frustrating consumers: More than half of respondents indicate that they shop online at least several times per month, yet 95 percent of people say they see the same ads at least once per week.
- Brands don't know their customers like Google does: Consumers think only 42 percent of brands know even the basics like their birthday. Meanwhile 72 percent think Google knows their habits, preferences and interests well.
- The travel industry has work to do: 49 percent of people think retailers would use their data to improve the customer experience; just 27 percent of respondents said the same about the travel industry.
- Travelers are doing their homework, but feel overwhelmed by options: Of the people who book their own travel, 95 percent of people check multiple sites before booking a trip. Yet, nearly half of people (49 percent) are overwhelmed by travel booking options.
Brands are facing an uphill battle when trying to reach connected consumers today; more than half don't want brands to have any of their personal information, according to a new Boxever survey of more than 500 consumers.
"Consumers aren't always seeing the positive side of sharing personal information with the brands they frequent," said Dave O'Flanagan, co-founder and CEO of Boxever, data science and omnichannel marketing personalization provider. "A big part of this is the inundation of ineffective advertising and the lack of real, personalized marketing. To regain consumer trust and successfully market to and engage with their audiences, companies need to be thoughtful about how they use customer data and focus on creating truly personalized, relevant experiences."
Boxever's research found that consumers don't believe brands are really taking the time to get to know them. In fact, just 42 percent said brands get the very basics about them right, like their birthday. In contrast, when the same people were asked how well Google knows them, 72 percent said the search giant knew their habits, preferences and interests well.
Consumers have been burned, especially by the travel industry
Consumers have been burned, especially by the travel industry
Companies walk a tightrope in balancing the desire of consumers to have brands to know them better against their hesitancy to hand over personal information. More than half of survey respondents said they don't want brands to have any of their personal information.
Poor advertising is a big part of the problem, jading consumers and making it harder for companies to gain access to personal data. 72 percent of people see the same ads at least five to 10 times per week. Three quarters (74 percent) of people continue to see ads for products that they have already purchased. It's easy to see why people would not want to give brands more access to their data if they don't believe that it helps brands serve them more relevant content.
The challenge is even greater for travel providers. While 49 percent of people think retailers would use their data to improve the experience, while just 27 percent of respondents said the same about the travel industry.
"Travelers aren't yet seeing the value of a truly personalized travel experience, likely because most companies haven't invested fully in it," said O'Flanagan. "The inability of travel providers and other companies to earn the trust of consumers is a huge roadblock to winning customers and building brand loyalty."
The millennial opportunity
Millennials have grown up in a world where brands are increasingly focused on personalization, so they have come to expect that companies will provide them with relevant, tailored interactions. Not surprisingly, millennials are much more willing to share personal information with brands; nearly two thirds (63 percent) say that companies should be granted access to any personal information.
In fact, this population is nearly twice as likely as other groups to believe that giving brands access to personal data will help them in their daily lives.
This more open attitude towards providing brands access to personal information opens up a great opportunity for travel providers and other companies to create a truly connected, seamless experience for millennials, drive purchases and inspire loyalty. But it's particularly important to consider context and focus on timeliness when it comes to millennials, as 72 percent of them said their purchasing habits changed on a regular basis based on what they're doing or where they are (compared to just 53 percent of non-millennials).
The travel experience in the digital age
This new generation of purchasers has also ushered in a new set of expectations around travel booking. Many consumers look at travel booking as a logistical exercise, and are comfortable booking flights, hotels and more without ever interacting with a human; 72 percent of people are willing to book a hotel and 73 percent are willing to book a flight without any human interaction. Consumers are far more willing to purchase travel-related items this way than anything else.
Responses indicate that the travel industry has a great opportunity to take advantage of nascent automation technologies like chat bots. By comparison, just 20 percent of people would consider purchasing a car without human interaction. This makes need for effective digital personalization offering value-added products and services even more important in the travel industry.
"Airlines and other travel providers have a great opportunity to transform the travel experience, driving a simplified booking and research process, and tailoring content and offers to the individual," said Flanagan. "Creating a truly connected experience that considers what a specific traveler wants at a moment in time will make the difference between the companies that consumers stay loyal to versus the ones they pass over."
For the full survey findings and more insight into what consumers want when booking travel, download Boxever's full report Reaching the Connected Customer: Balancing Personalization, Data-sharing, Innovation and Brand Loyalty.
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