The art of upselling is one which must be handled with care in the travel industry. Instead of pushing further travel products on a customer who has just booked a holiday, upselling should walk the line that allows you to boost your profits while helping your customer turn their great holiday into an even better experience. But just how should you handle the upsell in travel without alienating your customers?

First of all, when it comes to perfecting the upsell, consider what's in it for the customer – what sort of experience are they looking for? Asking the right questions at various stages during the buying process can turn the question of upselling away from a focus on the customer's budget and instead focus on the customer's experience, offering properly tailored suggestions that fit their specifications.

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Research from PhoCusWright exploring travellers' preferences for upsells and cross-sells when booking online found that customers want to see offers at multiple touchpoints throughout the buying funnel. It is therefore key to outline these offers throughout the buyer's journey, using data to personalise the offers to suit.

Indeed, personalisation is the future when it comes to the travel industry. The American Express report 'The Future of Travel' revealed that more than 75% of respondents agreed that a personalised and meaningful experience can make or break a trip and 63% would be supportive of a travel service provider using personal data to deliver an experience that has been personally tailored to them.

Implementing the right technology can help you track data specific to your customer as they move along the buyer's journey, browsing and returning to check prices before they move to make a booking. These insights will provide you with a plethora of data to help you sell additional products or suggest packages of a higher value along the way.

When it comes to optimising your website, be sure to embed personalised cross-sells along the booking journey, promoting products and additional services that will serve to enhance the customer's experience like airport lounge access, seat upgrades and tickets to local attractions. Create innovative ways to engage visitors with your offers at just the right times i.e. displaying upgrade options for flights at the point customers book their seats. Always consider the context and timing of an offer - your customers will thank you for it.

However, it is also important to be aware of the fact that the opportunity to upsell does not simply end once the booking is complete. Alerts to offer travellers the opportunity to pay for Wi-Fi or hire rental cars can continue even when the customer is en route.

Perfecting your travel upsell may be easier said than done, but when tackled correctly, can lead to a boost in profits and happier customers. Everyone's a winner.

If you would like further information on the sort of high-spec technology which can help lead your customers through a seamless booking process, collecting key data and using it to offer the best possible experience along the way, contact us today.

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