iSeatz, a leading provider of travel loyalty technology and digital commerce solutions, has released a new report that outlines current challenges and evolving expectations from business leaders and consumers that are shaping the travel loyalty industry at a time of resilient demand but rising uncertainty.
The report, Booking, Personalization, Sustainability, and Payments: The Tipping Point for Travel Loyalty in 2023, examines how travel rewards can help companies meet their engagement, revenue, and growth goals while also revealing disparities between most loyalty programs’ offerings and what their members expect from their travel loyalty experiences. Among the report’s overarching findings are four areas of opportunity for loyalty programs to improve their performance and better meet consumer demands: the booking experience, sustainability, personalization, and payment technology.
“This new research shows that American consumers have clear expectations for what their travel loyalty programs should deliver, and that they want more control over their experiences,” says Kenneth Purcell, Founder & CEO of iSeatz. “That means there’s a huge opportunity for companies to drive revenue and improve customer engagement if they make flexibility and value the core of their travel loyalty offering.”
Broad-based data reveals untapped potential
The report is based on two surveys conducted in November and December of 2022, one of over 2,000 American travelers and members of loyalty programs and another of nearly 300 loyalty program professionals. Survey questions covered a range of topics from current consumer attitudes toward travel to the technological capabilities of loyalty booking platforms.
In addition to the disparities between member expectations and program offerings and the focus on booking, personalization, sustainability, and payments, the report also highlighted key differences in generational attitudes and priorities regarding travel loyalty. Other major findings include:
- 43% of consumers say saving money on travel is what they value most from their loyalty programs
- But only 32% of companies surveyed include travel rewards as part of their earning and redemption options
- 63% of industry respondents say their programs are members’ first choice when booking travel, but only 51% of consumers report the same.
- Over 70% of consumers who said they receive personalized recommendations through their travel loyalty booking site say their current loyalty programs provide them with the value they are looking for, while only 44% of respondents who receive no personalized content said the same
- 37% of Gen Z respondents would book more travel if their loyalty program had sustainability-related redemption options
- 31% of consumers want “buy now, pay later” options for purchases made via their loyalty programs, but only 37% of programs support that payment method
Crafting a better travel loyalty approach
The report’s findings point to areas where new technologies or updated strategies can have a major impact on a travel loyalty program’s performance. Booking technology that gives members more control and options can create more connected experiences. Including more sustainability-related redemption options can help companies engage younger members and boost overall spending. Incorporating personalized recommendations can boost members’ affinity for the programs they belong to.
“The most important takeaway from this report is the need for travel loyalty programs to put the member’s wants and needs front and center,” continues Purcell. “When customer centricity is the guiding idea, alignment between expectations and experience happens naturally, and growth follows closely behind.”
For more information about the iSeatz report, its findings and conclusions or to arrange an interview with iSeatz experts, please contact Vanessa Horwell at [email protected].
Founded in 1999 and based in New Orleans, iSeatz is a leading travel commerce and ancillary merchandising technology company for travel, financial services and entertainment brands. Focused on customization and backed by proven deliverability, reliable advanced analytics and travel lifecycle expertise, iSeatz sets the bar for a superb travel journey from the very first search. The award-winning iSeatz OneView platform meets brands’ exact requirements for delivering a highly personalized and engaging commerce experience that drives conversions, customer satisfaction and advocacy. iSeatz custom digital experiences allow prospective travelers to search, discover and book a spectrum of travel-related products. iSeatz travel technology solutions connect people to unique travel journeys, generating over $8.2 billion in annual sales for our partners each year from more than three million annual bookings. The iSeatz partner portfolio includes brands such as American Express, Air Canada, Amtrak, Expedia, and IHG. Learn more at iSeatz.com.