Most industries require a gentle nudge towards innovation, but the travel sector is different. Over many years the status quo has been embedded and customer attitudes and behaviour are slower to change. This means that your average travel startup needs to do more to get noticed, and trends show that full-on industry disruption is the way to go.
There are two obvious leaders in the sphere of travel industry innovation at the moment: Uber and Airbnb. These relatively new companies are now both valued at tens of billions of dollars, and have succeeded in creating new markets and shifting old ones. Competitors have largely fallen by the wayside, and consumers in the travel services industry have, to an extent, welcomed the innovation with open arms. Here are five things you should consider to help your startup shift the landscape and stand out in the industry…
Solve a Problem
The digital era has made entry into the industry easier than ever for travel startups, but it’s still a tough challenge to come in and make an impact in a flash. Getting noticed takes time, especially in an online world dominated by bigger industry players. As with most travel startups, you’ll have to accept that innovation takes time, and that you’re in this for the long haul. Because of this, never lose sight of the key value you are offering customers. Identify the travel issue you’re providing a solution to, and have a clear answer that customers can understand and engage with.
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Customers
New trends and innovations mean that your potential customers want and expect different things as time move forwards. Because of this you need to keep an eye on their expectations and make sure you meet them. Now more than ever today’s traveller places value on seamless transactions, the immediacy of information, instant, accurate pricing and engaging content. At a time when customer loyalty is verging on non-existent, it’s never been more crucial to build with the customer in mind. Social media is a great way to tap into what consumers are looking for, and being one step ahead of the latest trend is a sure way to get yourself noticed.
Be Open to Adaptation
As travel services providers continue to innovate, new markets and opportunities are becoming available all the time. Because of this you have to be prepared to pivot your core customer solutions. As your audience, their expectations and your capabilities all change over time, don’t be scared to pivot. Change is inevitable, and doesn’t necessarily have to occur at the expense of your values.
Build a Capable Team that Cares
Any startup is only as good as the team behind the scenes. After some initial success you’ll probably need to scale up, and recruiting bright minds with the same passion as the original entrepreneurs will be one of your biggest challenges. A creative, hard-working and positive team is key to punching above your weight in an industry as competitive as travel services. We should know; most of our original team helped to launch Guide to Iceland – now the country’s largest travel services provider.
Give Travelshift a Try
One sure way to disrupt the travel industry is to build an online marketplace with our Travelshift software. We give you all the tools you need to band together different service providers from a certain sector, country or niche, allowing them to stand together and compete with the big players. With built-in content marketing and SEO features, your marketplace will quickly take shape and you’ll be in business in no time at all.
Building a community with customers in mind
Travelshift’s marketplace software comes complete with all the tools you need to build a thriving community of travellers and customers. Tap into the latest trends, see where your service can be improved and search for inspiration; all while building a reputation as a legitimate source of travel information for your chosen niche.