With the advent of mobile technology, every industry is looking to move up the ante. The travel industry is the largest beneficiary of this technology due to its away-from-home nature. The augmented traveler experience has become the top priority for service providers in the industry.
They strive to improve it by using the latest technologies disrupting the travel business as a whole. The convergence of technologies like iBeacon is proving to be the real game-changer for the industry.
What exactly is iBeacon Technology?
iBeacons or Beacons are the small transmitter devices delivering small packets of relevant data by using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) mechanism. It automatically connects with the nearby devices working on the upgraded iOS 7 and above. They run on a coin battery having a battery life of two years. Instead of sending alerts and offers on the phones, these devices send advertising packets identifiable to the individual beacons.
Once in its proximity, you need an app or passbook card to identify the particular beacon and receive the messages through it. It is managed through a server-side app that dynamically upgrades and updates the content. Beacons do not communicate with the internet. They work through an app to provide the information you need for enhancing the traveler experiences.
iBeacon - Potential for the Travel Industry
Unlike GPS technology, beacons work in the context of proximity. They can be attached to a movable object as well. Working at a hyper-local level makes them a perfect fit for the travel industry. Smart mobile devices are omnipresent. This makes them the perfect propeller of change. Their proliferation has already influenced the industry and disruptive technologies like iBeacons will take it notches higher.
This communication device designed by Apple has the potential to unlock the possibilities of travel and tourism. It can streamline the entire travel process apart from the traditional itinerary management. In fact, it can redefine the traveler experiences by serving their needs precisely. It helps in offering relevant and targeted proximity-based services.
How can iBeacons tap the Potential of Travel Industry?
iBeacons can tremendously enhance the experiences of travelers at various touchpoints. It can be the catalyst for bringing revolutionary changes in the industry. They open a huge window of business opportunities for the stakeholders in travel and hospitality. It sources data from physical locations and real-time activities to ensure contextual targeting.
It is estimated that nearly 44% of airlines will leverage this technology for improving their customer services by the year 2018.
Here are some significant areas where iBeacons can bring massive changes in the near future:
In-Airport Experiences: There's a lot that Beacons can do for ensuring a smooth transition of travelers within the terminal. Navigating can become simpler with dynamic information consistently available on their mobile devices. It has taken the applications beyond the conventional flight notifications. It includes duty-free promotions, gate updates, taxi bookings, walk-through, etc. It can't be entirely used as a means of instigating impulsive purchases. But, it can intelligently collect relevant information for travelers on the basis of their proximity to the main touchpoints.
Promoting Ancillary Sales: Ancillary sales hold a major portion of revenues for the airline operators. Hence, they are embracing iBeacons to enhance overall customer experiences. Their apps are already installed on the smart mobile devices of the customer. They interact with the beacons on the entry points of the terminal. It results in the compilation of important data related to the traveler and their flight status. Hence, it becomes easier to promote ancillaries like a day pass to the lounge area, seat upgrades on long-haul flights, priority check-in, etc.
Personalized Hotel Experiences: Beacons have empowered hotels for offering personalized experiences to the guests. They don't require adding any additional resources and manpower to this effect. Amazing value-added services are made possible by this technology. These include keyless entry to the rooms, communication of route maps, and enrolling in the loyalty programs. This automated check-in can be further enhanced by tracking customer feedback through beacon-powered apps. Also, they enable in-room controls like using your mobile for temperature, lighting, TV, and room services.
Interactive Exploration of Destinations: Apart from the anticipated uses of iBeacons in airports and hotels, this technology can also revolutionize the itineraries. It can be used to deliver comprehensive information regarding the city, its history, public services, transportation facilities, shopping areas, weather updates, and lots more. It can completely transform traveling around and exploration of new destinations.
Personalized Offers: iBeacons can also empower travel agencies and hospitality partners to offer personalized offers to potential customers. It provides historical as well as current public data to the service providers. Using this information, they can send customized offers to travelers.
The Future Most of the experts believes that Beacons can revolutionize the travel and tourism industry by enhancing traveling experiences as a whole. A beacon strategy should always focus on customer preferences and offer personalized solutions.
Hence, it always begins by exploring the potential use cases of this technology and then prepare a roadmap for its implementation. There is no doubt about the fact that iBeacon technology is the road to the future of the travel industry. And, it holds a lot of promises!