Leisure & Hospitality International - Spring 2015 - 17

Whether it's requesting gluten-free items at a restaurant or asking for extra whipped cream on that caramel macchiato, we all
live in an era where nearly everything is customizable. So why
shouldn't your online customers expect the same personalized
offerings when booking and shopping on your website?
According to a new study by Forrester
Consulting, commissioned by Fusion,
today's consumers demand a higher
level of customized attention and
service never seen before, and this
couldn't be more accurate than when it
comes to ancillary sales. For both new
and old businesses in the travel and
tourism industry, achieving ancillary
sales excellence can help improve
revenues online, enhance the customer experience and deepen relationship
with consumers. The caveat is that it
must be done in the highly customized
manner that today's sophisticated
online shopper demands.
Our study, which surveyed global
marketing officers and other ancillary
product decision-makers, found an
interesting paradox: more than half
consider ancillary sales revenue to be
a key goal, but most lack the technical
sophistication to realize the revenue
potential that can be generated with
targeted ancillary offerings. The research
also revealed that very few respondents
are using a detailed customer profile for
ancillary sales targeting. Instead, generic
offers are presented to all customers, or
are simply based on products customers
place in their shopping cart.
Yet the research clearly demonstrates that businesses will find much

greater success in online ancillary
sales if they create a unique and
dynamic experience for the customer.
With the maturation of web-based
technology and the rise of social media channels, customers feel empowered to expect a highly personalized
interaction at every website they
visit. Therefore, ancillary sales decision-makers should:
* Know the customers and what they
are likely to buy, when and with
what device;
* Acquire ancillary products that
are personalized to the customers'
needs;
* Consider working with partners or
vendors to optimize sales and ease
the burden of fulfillment; and
* Place ancillary offers on the same
web page as the purchase path to
create more ease and convenience.
This data unquestionably points to a
revenue stream that's ripe for additional growth, but only if it's done strategically. In other words, the research
shows that most of today's customers
are likely to reject the one-size-fits-all
approach that was ubiquitous in the
first generation of the Internet.
Our work with Forrester also showed
that not only the travel and tourism

industry, but industries across the
board can benefit from an intelligent
ancillary sales approach. For example, insurance companies could see a
potential rise in sales from cross-selling solutions to combat the growing
identity theft problem prevalent within
credit card, banking and retail sales.
In addition, telecommunications
providers sell phone accessories and
roaming Wi-Fi access, but other growth
opportunities exist, such as handset
insurance, extended warranty and
home security monitoring. Financial
services firms also can compete for a
greater share of the customer's wallet
by offering tax-return services, estate
planning and more.
The combination of big data,
propensity modeling/scoring and
advanced testing techniques allows
online merchants to deliver real-time,
customized ancillary product offerings
at the point in time when the customer
is most likely to buy. Consumers are
clearly expecting a high level of personalized attention, and will reward
the online merchants who provide
them with the most relevant ancillary
options at the best time.
Bob Dufour is president of
Fusion, a technology company
that equips digital retailers
with the power to convert a
single online interaction into a longterm, profitable customer relationship.
Visit www.fusion.com for more information or to read its report. You can also
call 804-965-8448.

Main Event Entertainment P.18 / Orange County Convention Center P.26 / PURE Canadian Gaming Corp. P.28 /
Northland Edmonton P.32 / Resorts Casino Hotel P.34 / Pearl River P.36 /
Spring 2015 LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY INTERNATIONAL | WWW.LHIMAGAZINE.COM

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Leisure & Hospitality International - Spring 2015 - Cover1
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Leisure & Hospitality International - Spring 2015 - Cover3
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