The travel industry has immense potential. It is dynamic, ever-changing, and it keeps engaging diverse audiences. Those who want to maintain sustainability in business in this industry, the best option is to build new travel products to keep up with changing times. Here’s what will help you do right.
1.Focus on the customer
To maintain the sustainability of your product you want to make, it’s important to attract your type of customers. Since it’s a new product, approach a narrow audience that has specific interests. It can be targeted towards business tourists, music festival fans, family travellers or sports enthusiasts. By targeting a niche audience, you have an opportunity to become the preferred travel companion for that niche. Your users will know that you’re trustworthy since your product is there to cater only their interests. The smaller your niche, the easier it will be for you to understand and meet their needs.
To attract niche customers, you need to understand their mindsets and should be creative. People are looking for products that really matter to them. To be able to develop and offer meaningful products, you need to know your customers very well. You will be able to develop a product only when you truly understand your customers. And in case you do not have any customers yet, or are looking for new ones, you need to get your inspiration and validation from external sources. These can be trend reports, events, online and real-world communities.
a. Engage your Networks
Building a new travel product is not the work of one person. It is always highly recommended to engage others in your travel product building process. Customers, employees, others working in your field of business, businesses in your community, and people you know, will give you honest feedback, who have open and positive minds and will definitely give productive advice. Engaging people from your field of work will not only make product development fun and rewarding but will also contribute to the quality of the outcome.
b. The user experience
If you want to create a travel product accessible for this smartphone generation, you have to make it either adaptable for mobile platforms or create a standalone app for it.
You should identify when users will need your service – whether it’s during the planning stage or during the trip itself. Either way, it still must be available from any device. And remember: a tidy user interface is as just important to the success of your future business as the quality of the service.
c. Use AI
If you want your travel products to be successful among today’s users, you need to use artificial intelligence. This ability has to be embedded both within the service interface and the opportunities it offers the traveller. Artificial intelligence (AI) technology will provide the user with highly relevant suggestions and options that enhance their travel experience.
d. Observation and Discussion
Travel products are all about experiences, one of your main goal should be looking after your customers. It should be part of your process to observe your customers during different phases of their customer journey and to learn to understand this customer journey through their eyes. It gives you insights into what your customers think, what they do, how they interact with others, and what they dream and wish for. Customer observation should always be done quietly and discreetly.
2. Make a persona for each type of customer
Personas help you understand your customers (and prospective customers) better. This makes it easier for you to tailor your travel product and services to meet the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of the members of your target audience.
a. Basic demographics for your customer personas
Start with demographics. Demographics are the ‘hard facts’ about your customers. Facts that separate them from the rest of the crowd. You want to know at least their:
- Place of residency
- Relationship status
- Family size
- Spoken language(s)
- Household income
- Level of education
- Social media habits
b. The personality traits of your customer personas
Then dig deeper into psychographic details. Who is the person behind the facts you listed? Find interesting information on your ideal customers, such as:
Goals and motivations
Fears and challenges
Reasons for travelling
Obstacles to travel
Purpose for travel (leisure, business, visiting family/friends…)
Favourite (travel) activities
Expectations while travelling
When you put all this information together, you really start to see who your target audience is. You’ll know the age bracket and location of your customers, what they can afford, and why they want to travel in the first place. You’ll understand their travel preferences and turnoffs. These details are incredibly valuable to your product development.
c. Brainstorming Ideas
After successfully collecting the information, you can brainstorm ideas for new products that matter to your customers for each opportunity area. Brainstorming for ideas will bring out a creative output. Come up with as many ideas as possible. Try to think of weird solutions, products, services or experiences. Write down each idea without judgement.
Next, sort and group the ideas that you wrote down. Put the bad or completely unrealistic ideas to the side. Group the good ideas that go well together. Eventually, you will end up with a shortlist of your best ideas for solutions. At this point, again, it is a good idea to discuss the ideas with some of your customers to get feedback.
Turn your best ideas into prototypes
Creating a first design of your product from your ideas is called a prototype. This will help you to understand your idea better, but also to determine whether you have the resources to implement it, and what are the likely challenges or consequences or trade-offs. Taking all these things into consideration is important for long-term success.
Once a prototype is created they should be run for a test.
Focus on the customer again and test your prototypes in practice
Putting your creative idea out in public as a prototype and offering it to your customers as you have described it in your prototype should be your final step. The idea is to get constructive criticism from your customers on what worked and what didn’t. Based on this feedback, you can create a new and improved version of your product. Once you get feedback, you can refine and make improvements.
Travstack’s smart itinerary builder helps in creating different types of circuits for tour operators and travel agents. It does so by providing Quick packaging & budgeting,optimised map routes and personalised recommendations.
It helps in getting the initial interest from their customers instead of going live with booking slots etc. It also can modify the itinerary as per custom made queries later, reusable and embeddable in websites.