How Behavioral Segmentation Can Help Personalize the User Experience for Your Travel App


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While the world came to a standstill due to the coronavirus, disruption, digitization, and diversification were the 3 key trends every industry had to embrace. In the case of the travel industry, things have been drastic, to say the least. With digitization, marketing can be data-driven and this means an increased scope for marketers to personalize their campaigns rather than adopt an old-school ‘spray-and-pray’ approach.

Personalization is no longer a novelty, it is a necessity. A study conducted by Accenture highlights that over 41% of customers switched brands due to a lack of personalization.* Reaching the right user at the right time with the right message is essential, especially for the travel industry. Imagine the consequences of suggesting a trip to a user who’s petrified to leave the house. Or rather, failing to engage with a user who’s been searching for a hotel for hours.

Uncover Patterns in User Behavior

Segmenting users based on their behavior (both past and present) can help you avoid these marketing faux-pas. Behavioral segmentation is all about grouping users based on actions they’ve taken within your app. Segmentation can be based on a single activity or a complex combination of actions (and inactions).

More than giving insights into what products or services various customer groups prefer, segmentation also dives into preferred channels and tone of messaging. Behavioral segmentation also accounts for the stage where the customer is at in the overall lifecycle, frequency of app usage, and for how long they continue to use the app.

Here are some potential ways in which marketers can leverage behavioral segmentation:

1. Retargeting desired behaviors

Based on past behaviors, it is possible for marketers to make educated assumptions about what’s to happen in the future. So, travel apps can retarget users who’ve traveled to a particular place with discounted fares to connecting locations. Or marketers can cross-sell hotel options to users who have purchased a flight for an upcoming journey.

2. Combining behavior with geolocation

By observing location data and combining past, real-time, or projected behavior, marketers can send personalized push notifications. For instance, if a user has booked tickets to Madrid from Dubai, marketers can send emails and push notifications that include information about safety guidelines for COVID-19, popular restaurants with pickup or outdoor dining options, and open air shopping venues. 

3. Focus on customer loyalty

By segmenting live users, marketers can identify users who’ve made more than one booking and pitch their loyalty program. Due to the pandemic and its repercussions, travelers are searching for budget-friendly travel options. Offering early bird discounts, purchase incentives, and loyalty points are some ways in which marketers can focus on building a loyal user base.

For example, AirAsia launched AirAsia Unlimited Pass where users can purchase unlimited point-to-point long haul and domestic flights.

4. Gather feedback 

The key to improving the user experience is by knowing what users want. What better way to gain user insights than asking them? Seek feedback from users who’ve made at least 3 bookings on your platform. 

Another important segment to consider while gathering feedback is the abandoned cart users and users who search for a destination but don’t complete a booking. Virgin Atlantic sends an email series to users who search for a flight but don’t book. This helps the user feel valued and listened to.

Airbnb asks the host and the traveler to post reviews, thereby making each party feel valued. This also helps them in gaining additional information that can be used while sending future notifications.

Effectively engaging your user base is the only way to ensure conversions and retention. Engagement needs to move beyond standard personalization and must be individualized. Behavioral segmentation is a great way for travel app marketers to identify unique ways to make the users feel special and stand out from the clutter.

With CleverTap’s comprehensive behavioral analytics, marketers can understand how users navigate the app and behave over time. Additionally, marketers get a centralized, real-time view of any user, including data from all sources and an activity log.