Cutting through the noise

News & Updates

Published on 31.05.2021

The Tipping Point for Travel Retail: How to stand out from the crowd.

Part 1: It is so much better, when it is personal! How to nail personalization.

In our connected world, consumers are expecting a personalized experience when they interact with brands. It is a given. Leisure travel is the type of activity that naturally triggers a lot of emotion and excitement, generating all sorts of needs and wants. For brands operating in travel retail and destination activities, this means enormous potential.

The appetite from travelers for branded offers in fashion, beauty, accessories, and destination activities, just before and during their trip, is strong. In fact it is € 280 billion a year strong. We also know that 79% of travelers want to be offered personalized and contextually relevant third party offers through their trusted travel supplier, after they booked their trip.

But (here comes the “but”), in a market spending € 48 billion to reach and engage with travelers to get a piece of their € 280 billion travel retail and destination activities spending, the question is HOW to nail personalization (beyond “Dear John” or “Dear Jane”), and HOW to stand out from the crowd?

The answer: create meaningful interactions with travelers, and think like a concierge.

Create meaningful interactions.

It all comes down to two things: context and timing. Here is the trick: replace your irrelevant, impersonal and context lacking campaigns and messaging, by personal, context aware, and timely interactions making them meaningful to travelers. This will happen if you can leverage the tens of powerful sources of information that are available. You might ask: “how can I find or access these tens of powerful sources of information?.” Also, you want to make sure you are not intrusive here, or worse that you constantly track people (looking at you “big tech”). I will share some insights on these topics in my next articles.

Think like a concierge.

Let us go back to the basics: what do we as consumers associate with concierge service? Convenience, understanding of our needs, and the individualized touch, right? Back to understanding the context and the timing: who is it, that you are engaging with? Is it a solo traveler? Or is it a family with children? Or something else? Based on that, what do they need or want? And equally, when do they need or want it? A concierge does not only think about travelers needs and wants, but also combines that knowledge with relevant information at hand, increasing traveler’s trust and engagement. A concierge would know that travelers do not need beachwear when they are leaving their beach resort. On the other hand, exposing them to a personalized, contextual, and timely offer will make an enormous difference.

Creating meaningful and concierge style interactions, will bring your campaigns to the next level and ensure that you stand out from the crowd.

Getting personalization right is a science, with a (tiny) sprinkle of fine art.

Travel retail brands and destination activities companies who crack this code, or who work with an ecosystem cracking this code, have a bright future ahead of them.

Written by Bojan Jokic, CEO & Co-Founder, Epteca

(Sources: Amadeus, Frost & Sullivan, e-Marketer, Euromonitor, Statista)

Published on 02.04.2019

Hotels are losing out on the $280 billion ancillary opportunity

Hoteliers widely agree on the importance of ancillary revenue; how to implement is less clear. Often stand-alone loyalty based platforms are used, rather than learning best practice from the airline industry which has refined ancillary optimization over a decade.

Learnings from airlines, the early adaptors of ancillary offerings, can benefit hotels

While filling passengers into the airplanes is important, 42% of airlines’ total profit is actually driven by ancillary product and service sales; becoming drivers to industry profitability. In 2018, ancillary revenue represented $92 billion for the airline industry and has become the fastest growing revenue component. While the actual booking phase is a crucial cross-selling point, the post-booking phase up to boarding and on-flight time are where the more advanced systems are gaining impressive results.

Big data ensures success

The hotel industry is still in its early stages, often leaning towards the traditional stand-alone loyalty solutions known in their industry to capture ancillary sales. However, learnings from the success of airlines and OTA’s suggest another strategic direction; the power of mass data in shared solutions. Think Google and why building a new stand-alone search engine might not be the best choice. Data processing 120+ million travelers makes Epteca a more powerful, more precise and more data driven predictive understanding of guest context and therefore better at combining ancillary offers to the needs of each guest. That is the secret behind its unmatched engagement and conversion rates in the industry. The extreme volume of transactions allows the artificial intelligence to learn faster so the predictive algorithms are refined and applied in real-time.

Higher share of guest wallet. Guaranteed!

To capture a bigger share of guest wallet, both in- and off-property offerings and experiences should be targeted to each guests’ specific context. Better capacity usage, up-sell and F&B cross-selling are low hanging fruits. The crucial new revenue opportunities to add stems from curated e-shopping, referral fees, specific media selling, strategic partnerships which all can be materialized with the right ancillary technology platform and marketplace.

Filling hotel rooms with guests is important, increasing total guest value is equally fundamental in order to manage a healthy hotel. Guests spend much outside the hotel; money a hotel could get a share of. By creating a hyper-personalized closed-loop communication based on big data, each guest is met with engaging and relevant information and carefully curated offers from brands and services which together increases the overall guest experience as well drives new revenue streams. Higher share of guest wallet is essential for every hotel in this competitive market, and Epteca is the only end-to-end, plug & play solution in the world based on big data and AI with best-in-class conversion rates. Guaranteed!

About Epteca:

The ancillary technology solution from Swiss based Epteca has become one of the favorite partners; data processing 120+ million travelers combined with a proprietary AI empowered closed-loop marketing platform, Epteca has boosted ancillary revenue unmatched in the travel market.

Published on 16.05.2018

Epteca Partners with Widespace in Exclusive Travel Marketplace Data Deal

Epteca and Widespace have signed an exclusive deal that will enable global travel retail brands to harness big-data and actionable insights not available elsewhere to truly personalize advertising and make it contextually relevant for travelers.

Epteca, the travel marketplace ecosystem, today announces an exclusive deal with Widespace, the mobile programmatic platform powered by machine learning. This unique offering builds on big data and actionable insights into travel customers that are not available elsewhere, enabling brands and marketers to tailor highly relevant and effective and truly personalized messages to this target audience.

Travelers are a core audience for marketers in the travel retail and ancillary services space. This massive €280 billion market is growing 12.5% each year, with 8 out of 10 travelers saying they would buy curated branded retail offers and services through their travel supplier if presented at the right time and in the right context. Through this partnership Widespace customers will be able to serve more than 37 million travelers one-to-one with their highly relevant offers. Using big data and predictive algorithms that match context and intent, Epteca can accurately anticipate not only what customers require, but also what they are likely to want, need or do during their trip.

The exclusive first-party data will therefore enable brands in travel retail and services to serve this audience with relevant and highly personalized messaging throughout the whole customer journey, from the day the trip is booked until the day the trip ends. The unique solution gives marketers the opportunity to tailor advertising based on 20 key parameters including the stage in the journey and even device type with more than 95% matching accuracy.

As a result, the CTR of campaigns delivered through Epteca is 10x higher than industry benchmarks, with engagement rates of 80% and above. The platform also ensures high standards of quality with 100% guarantees of no bots, no fraud and no ad blockers, ensuring brands to only pay for viewable ads.

Filippo Gramigna, VP Sales, Widespace said: “Epteca has a fantastic and really unique product that offers an unmatched performance within the travel retail and services sector, with this partnership set to give our customers targeted access to a highly lucrative audience. Furthermore, Epteca’s commitment to high-quality, brand-safe and relevant ad placements is perfectly aligned with Widespace’s positioning and product offering.”

Bojan Jokic, CEO, Epteca said: “At Epteca, we know travel and that each traveler has unique needs and wants. We are confident that our ecosystem platform will benefit Widespace’s customer base and achieve unrivalled results when it comes to presenting their travel retail and service offerings to highly relevant travel audience. Through working with over 70 of the leading travel companies in the world we are able to offer Widespace a solution that no one else has in the market. For Epteca, this is another step towards our mission of saving the world from irrelevant content.”

Published on 10.10.2017

Air Europa and Epteca Team Up to Enhance Personalization and Passenger Experience

Leading Spanish airline to introduce a unique onboard in-flight entertainment solution with personalized concierge-style offers powered by Epteca’s engagement platform

ZUG, SWITZERLAND (October 10, 2017) – Epteca, the innovative platform ecosystem that provides marketplace capabilities to airlines, OTA’s, tour operators and hotels to offer travelers value-adding merchandise and services in addition to their trip, today announced that they have added Air Europa to their rapidly growing list of over 60 travel industry clients. In close cooperation with Lufthansa Systems and their new BoardConnect in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution, the integrated Epteca ancillary platform will be rolled out across the Air Europa fleet of Boeing 737s and Embraer 195s starting in early 2018.?

Technology has changed almost every aspect of travel, and, as a result, it has transformed what passengers expect from airlines. With the implementation of the new end-to-end In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) and ancillary platform, Air Europa will be able to provide context-relevant, non-intrusive, concierge-style travel information, entertainment, offers, and recommendations to passengers. The cutting-edge solution profoundly differentiates the airline from competitors with a truly upgraded passenger experience.

“Travelers are more connected and informed than ever before, making hyper-contextualized personalization focused on their needs and wants critical to achieving increased loyalty, revenue and positive reviews,” said Sandra Lenis, Client and Product Director at Air Europa. “The aviation industry is highly competitive and to succeed it is important to exceed passenger expectations at every opportunity. By partnering with Epteca, we can leverage the power of customer insights and our new in-flight entertainment system to deliver tailored interactions and create memorable moments that drive ancillary revenues and keep passengers coming back.” ?

Air Europa is a leading Spanish airline headquartered in Llucmajor on Mallorca. It is part of the Globalia Corporación Empresarial holding company and a member of the SkyTeam airline alliance. Air Europa serves holiday and city break destinations in Northern and Western Europe as well as South, Central and North America and the Caribbean.

“For service brands like airlines, customer experience is always at the center of everything,” explains Bojan Jokic, CEO of Epteca. “Travelers today are bombarded daily with irrelevant and untimely offerings. This approach is unwelcomed and outdated. Epteca is raising the bar at every stage of customer journey, highlighting information and offers that are relevant to travelers’ context and when they are needed most, leading to increased customer loyalty and ancillary sales. It’s not hard to see why airlines that aim to be market leaders should put this revenue and traveler engagement opportunity at the forefront. We are excited to work with a visionary brand like Air Europa and are confident that our solution, together with the innovative BoardConnect in-flight entertainment solution of our partner Lufthansa Systems, will deliver added value to Air Europa and to their customers.”?

Epteca is approaching ancillary business in travel in a unique way. Designed to fill a clear void in the fragmented marketplace, Epteca’s technology and ecosystem enables travel companies and product and services vendors to tap into unrealized opportunity and revenue streams by offering highly personalized offerings relevant to each step of the customer journey.

Published on 24.10.2016

Epteca Provides a Personalized Customer Journey on Ground and at 33,000 Feet

Lufthansa Systems is to expand its partner network to their BoardConnect inflight entertainment solution with the Epteca offering and platform. Airlines can now offer truly personalized and contextualized services.

Epteca is delighted to announce the expansion of its marketplace ecosystem to Lufthansa Systems BoardConnect inflight entertainment system (IFE), thus creating a game-changing platform for a highly customized customer journey experience.

The new partnership between Epteca and Lufthansa Systems BoardConnect will enable airlines and brands to take context marketing and personlized customer service to a whole new level. BoardConnect is an IFE platform which enables passengers to stream content to their own tablets or smartphones during a flight.

Epteca creates new customer experiences, as well as revenue opportunities, by responding to the needs of the customer journey prior, during and after travel in a highly relevant and contextual manner. With this latest enhancement to the BoardConnect onboard platform and IFEC solution, Lufthansa Systems and Epteca are now poised to provide travelers with a highly sophisticated level of service along with revolutionary omni-channel e-tailing also at 33,000 feet.

"We are pleased to welcome Epteca platform to our partner network enabling airlines to further monetize the traveler journey both on ground and inflight" said Norbert Müller, Senior Vice President BoardConnect at Lufthansa Systems.

Using personalized concierge-style communications, the Epteca platform can provide highly relevant information, along with tailored goods and services which will satisfy customers' individual needs. For example, should a customer realize to have forgotten to bring a rain coat for London while looking at the weather forecast from his or her seat, the traveler can go to the "Forgotten anything?" section, and order one. The merchandise will be delivered on arrival at the airport. This added service will go a long way in creating a very satisfied customer!

Bojan Jokic, CEO of Epteca, added, "Since 2013, Epteca has been inviting travel and airline companies, as well as retail brands and vendors, to rethink the entire customer journey. By building our unique platform and curating the right brands with the right products and services, we have created frictionless commerce and a contextual marketing ecosystem – benefiting partners, brands and customers at all stages of the journey. Offering a truly personalized customer experience – even on-board a flight, together with a great solution from BoardConnect – is a natural next step, meeting customers' individual needs from the comfort of their seat".

Epteca and Lufthansa Systems BoardConnect will launch their game-changing solution during Apex EXPO in Singapore from 24th to 27th of October 2016.

Published on 26.08.2016

Check out our new eBook: Don’t Sell Me a Suitcase After My Trip

​Discover why context and relevance is the real future of travel and ancillary marketing.

Read the full eBook here

Published on 26.08.2016

Epteca launches new testimonials: “more than just a number”

​See our consecutive films here

Published on 03.07.2015

Epteca Technology Update: Q2 Summary

​Epteca released further enhancements to its innovative platform during the second quarter, in which we further improved our already extensive capabilities to match the Partner data with the perfect products and services, resulting in an even higher degree of relevance. ​

The Advertisers tools set has been expanded as well where Epteca developed a new cutting-edge interface. When launched in Q3, the interface will give Advertisers the opportunity to review key metrics associated to the campaigns that they perform utilizing our innovative platform. This is deemed to be an important delivery to simplify daily life for our Advertisers and more importantly ensure that they can analyze and act on data insights to optimize campaigns and hence improve conversion rates. 

Epteca has now entered Q3 with ambitious targets and consequently exciting and innovative deliveries ahead.​​

Published on 10.03.2015

Epteca proudly announces being part of London's first Traveltech Lab

The Traveltech Lab has been developed with The Trampery, a specialist in shared workspaces which is behind a number of projects in London. Epteca was chosen out of over 100 companies that applied for space in the new facility, including businesses from Germany, China and the United States.

Published on 30.06.2014

Epteca partners with UNISTER TRAVEL

​We proudly announce signing an agreement with UNISTER TRAVEL Germany's well-known online travel portal and are looking forward to a successful cooperation.

Published on 05.06.2014

Epteca strengthens foothold on the UK market

We have signed yet another agreement with one of UK's longest established independent travel agency chains: Dawson & Sanderson.

Published on 16.05.2014

A new Swedish partner for Epteca

​We have successfully signed with Etraveli - an online travel agent with the highest market share in the Nordic countries.

Published on 15.05.2014

Epteca signs with a new partner from Sweden: Flightfinder

​We have today successfully signed up a yet another new partner in Sweden - Flightfinder.

Published on 28.10.2013

Epteca signs with new German partner: Tropo

​We have also had further success in the important German market and have signed an agreement with yet another partner: Tropo.

Published on 05.08.2013

New partners join Epteca! We proudly announce our partnership with Solresor AB, Discover the World & bigblueroad.

Epteca is making progress on many fronts! We have successfully signed an agreement at the end of July with a new partner: Solresor AB.

Furthermore we have successfully signed agreements with Discover the World and their subsidiary

Published on 11.01.2013

Epteca signs with new partner from the UK

We have had further success in the UK market and signed a new agreement with Holiday Extras.

Published on 11.01.2013

Epteca signs an agreement with Conrad

​We can now count one of Europe's largest retailers to our partners: Conrad!

Get in touch