Written by: Cristina García
As you may know, the whole tourism sector is in the grip of change. Indeed, the situation that companies operating regular ferry lines are living now is the same that hotel companies had been going through a few years ago. The way customers used to consume is not the same anymore, and Internet has a big role to play in this transformation.
More and more, the process of buying a product is always evolving. Your potential clients have way more knowledge about you, your sector, your products, and your competitors than you think. Internet is a gold mine of information and nowadays customers are used to do some research on the web before making a purchase. They will probably look for advices, data or even compare between various companies offering the same product or service.
According to the Boston Consulting Group, 95% of travellers nowadays use digital resources for their trip, whether before, during or after the travel. That’s why your internet presence should be tailored perfectly to their consumption preferences in order to make the potential client aware of your brand, and especially to generate a positive image around your company.
The development and emergence of new actors in the tourism sector such as social networks, information search engines, price comparison web sites or online travel agencies is really important and should also be taken in account. In fact, even smaller companies must be interested in going through their digital transformation, which can help them facing bigger competition with a minimum investment. The main objective is to design and create a customized digital channel, which makes you able to attract, convert and delight your customers.
There are many other benefits for ferry service companies to develop their online presence:
Connecting directly with customers and attracting more direct reservations, by decreasing the dependence of tour operators, agencies and other commercial intermediaries.
Capturing as much data as possible coming from the leads and customer’s interactions with your online brand, in order to execute campaigns and personalized actions.
Creating new products and repositioning the current ones, to improve the customer experience and obtaining additional income.
Providing better customer service, taking advantage of the tools offered by the digital world.
Automating processes, in order to make every single action profitable.
For example, if someone wants to plan on a holiday trip in Greece with his family, he will first take a look at the best things to do in the islands, or the best beaches to go with children. He could also be looking for advices about the food experience, and only after he will start to think about booking a hotel or buying boat tickets. If you’re able to give your customer this priceless information, he will certainly remember you at the moment of booking his trip.
Always remember that new travelers are looking for value. You need to make sure you deeply care about your reputation and content offer, so you’re not just your product or service, but your valuable to them. That’s why the digital revolution is waiting for you. Be aware of all those changing patterns, and revamp your company for this new era that’s already here.