It’s no secret that Australians like to travel and eat. A recent study showed dining out and takeaway comprise the largest proportion of a household’s food budget by far, with most demographics spending almost double on restaurant-prepared meals than on cooking ingredients and pantry staples.
"Technology Can Add The Most Value At The Door And At The Cash Register Of A Restaurant"
Similarly, the abundance of options catering to every travel budget as well as competitive airline pricing means that Australians are among the top 10 nationalities that travel the most. We also travel more than ever before, with 8.2 million Australians (around one-third of the population) undertaking an overseas trip in a single year, while more than half (52 percent) Australians say their next holiday will be domestic.
While this means an abundance of choice for the consumer, it can also be quite overwhelming and hard for a business to stand out from the herd. The smart businesses use technology to improve their customer experience, and use aggregators to optimise their marketing spend.
Technology has certainly cracked the travel and hospitality sectors wide open, and in the past five years, one of the biggest changes businesses in these areas have had to come to terms with is the accessibility to purchase provided by e-commerce, and how that can result in consumers being more open to experimenting and engaging with that business across different sectors.
Ratings System Is One Of The Newer, And Relatively Simpler Technology. They Can Make Or Break A Venue
For example, customers who have previously purchased accommodation returning to purchase a meal or an experience. Technology can turn a transaction into a trustworthy relationship.
Where businesses can stand out from their competition in travel and hospitality are the areas of convenience, personalisation and searchability. People are travelling more now than ever, and they want their experience to be unique. Tailored experiences and personalisation are the trends of modern tourism; thanks to technology, we now know so much more about our customers and the onus is on us as a business to use that information wisely.
For example, Groupon uses a sophisticated algorithm to ensure that the more details we know about the customer, the more tailored our offering to them is. No two customer profiles are alike. We have also seen growth in customers booking travel on mobile devices - previously, it was always a big purchase that many would never have bought 'on the go' but that mindset is changing.
Restaurants are competing on the convenience factor. Technology can help a restaurant in many ways but where it can add the most value is at the door and at the cash register: that is, the easier it is to make a booking and pay the bill, the better the customer experience. Using technology to streamline these manual processes frees up waitstaff to add the personal touches that make the experience of dining out so memorable.
The ratings system is one of the newer, relatively simpler pieces of technology that has had a huge impact. Reviews can make or break a venue. In the past there were a handful of professional gatekeepers who would rate service providers, but nowadays anyone with a mobile phone can post a review and influence other customers. Businesses need to be primarily obsessed with their customer. If one of our Groupon customers gives a merchant a negative rating, we work with that merchant on improving their experience and what they can do to improve their customer experience.
Yet some things don’t change. No matter what digital tools you use, businesses will always need to build trust, build loyalty and stay relevant to their customers. Technology will constantly change. It’s not enough for businesses to simply have the latest technology, they need to work out how to use it to best benefit their customers.