Destination Marketplaces: Creating a Connected Experience for your Travellers

Astound Commerce
We create digital commerce experiences that engage consumers, increase sales & fuel exponential growth.

Astound Commerce and Salesforce are revolutionising the entire travel experience by creating ground-breaking Destination Marketplaces. These innovative solutions don’t just make travellers’ journeys and destinations even better; they also foster long-lasting loyalty and open the door to new, lucrative revenue opportunities for destinations and their service partners. 

This guide explores Destination Marketplaces as a whole, with a specific focus on airports, and reveals how data holds the key to transforming locations into thriving Destination Marketplaces.

Your Number One Priority: The Traveller

Every traveller has to be at the heart of every interaction. To do this, you need to acquire comprehensive knowledge about them across different touchpoints: how they’re travelling, how long they’re staying, where they’re departing from.

Once you have the relevant data, you need to be able to turn those insights into personalised experiences by seamlessly integrating workflows, business processes, and embedding automation technologies that work harmoniously together.

You also want to consider incorporating partners—whether retailers or service providers—with whom you can collaborate to launch, manage, and monetise new products and services, boosting the collective customer journey for your marketplace and allowing travellers to add both products and services to a single shopping basket.

Integrating data, artificial intelligence, and personalisation across organisations introduces new layers of complexity. Legacy infrastructure, limited support for open architecture, and data management hurdles can make the task even more difficult. Organisational issues, including cultural and mindset shifts, leadership buy-in, and a lack of expertise, can also present pitfalls. To overcome these obstacles, you need to map out a robust strategy for selecting an appropriate model and approach that fits your and your partners’ teams and technologies. 

Case Study: Zermatt

Creating a Mountain-Sized Marketplace: From the Ski Slopes to the Shops

Astound Commerce and Salesforce have dedicated several years to meticulously architecting and engineering a marketplace for Zermatt. The AAA Swiss ski destination, famed for the beautiful Matterhorn peak and its picturesque yet thriving village, is now regarded as the "world's first town to run on Salesforce.”

Salesforce’s Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Commerce Cloud connect to create a seamless booking experience for every product offered throughout Zermatt Matterhorn—from accommodation, ski tickets and instructors, to travel to and from Zurich. 

The smooth integration of these products gives Zermatt a much deeper understanding of the data collected, allowing the destination to significantly improve visitor experiences and maintain the relevance and adaptability of Zermatt Matterhorn for the future.

Taking a Building Block Approach to Transforming Destination Marketplaces

Salesforce and Astound Commerce have condensed this valuable experience with Zermatt into significantly shorter go-to-market evaluations and delivery timelines for a wide range of Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality (TTH) destinations—whether airports, AAA holiday resorts, large hotels or city destinations.

The Building Block Approach allows destinations to adopt a phased implementation strategy. For instance, you can start with Loyalty Cloud (loyalty application) or Service Cloud (customer support applications) and gradually incorporate Marketing Cloud (marketing application) and Data Cloud (data & CDP applications). After that, the focus can shift to Commerce Cloud and ecommerce portals or apps. 

Modern Travel Experiences Are Taking Off at Airports

In today’s digital age, airports are having to adapt to meet the rising demands of modern travellers. How? By mapping out a clear digital transformation strategy that presents new opportunities for seamless connected experiences that satisfy customers and keep them coming to your airport.

Connecting Travellers to More than Just Their Final Destination

Here’s how your travellers’ journeys could—and should—look to provide them with a truly connected experience:

  • Planning and booking services like car parking, fast-track security, and lounge access available as a convenient bundle
  • Pre-travel reminders on things like the essentials to pack before arriving at the airport and directions to specific terminals
  • Targeted discounts and directions to retailers all on a single app
  • Real-time, relevant updates for timely information about flight updates, gate announcements, and any urgent issues so they can be resolved before it’s too late
  • The ability to click and collect items on their way back from their trip
    to minimise luggage—especially important for those with pushchairs, car seats, and other children’s essentials

Data holds the key

Key to this vision is access to multiple data sources from your partners and third parties, such as:

  • Market and partner data to provide contextual insights like events and weather, reviews and external traveller info
  • Travel data, including systems of records and traveller schedules
  • Intent or sentiment data from social media engagement
  • CRM and loyalty data through online profiles and service interactions
  • Marketing and commerce data with campaign metrics, digital footprints, loyalty data, and so on
  • Device and location data captured on mobiles, IOT, and geolocation data

Salesforce and Astound Commerce are helping airports and other Destination Marketplaces capture and make the most of this data, empowering you to:

  • Uncover unique insights, understanding each person’s affinities and intent
  • Automate experiences with AI, boosting the relevance of every interaction
  • Deliver smarter engagement everywhere, connecting with travellers both on- and offline
  • Get to market quickly, implementing existing infrastructure and templates with a flexible, customisable spin
  • Nurture rational and emotional loyalty enterprise-wide, providing discounts and offers, as well as exclusive, personalised experiences and cross-sell opportunities
  • Test and analyse decisions, monitoring and optimising success

The Salesforce Advantage

While the travel and destination industries involve complex barriers, stakeholders, and relationships, a customer-centric transformation strategy can help you make the most of these new opportunities. 

With Salesforce, you can connect to your customers by better listening to, learning from, and gaining insight through your customer interactions. You can then start to engage with them in the channel of their choice and take action on common patterns that emerge—improving your customers’ experience.

Salesforce can also empower your employees with the tools, agility and collaboration they need, in a secure environment. With industry-leading CRM applications that connect your data across all systems, Salesforce’s AI capabilities also support you to serve your customers with a unified customer profile.

The Astound Commerce Approach

Astound Commerce works alongside Salesforce to scope, plan and implement digital transformations for Destination Marketplaces. We make sure project success is defined upfront and then delivered through expertly planned and well-executed implementation.

Beginning with a comprehensive analysis and platform evaluation, we make sure the destination in question makes informed decisions regarding the selection of appropriate technologies and establishes realistic goals and timelines.

Astound Commerce then seamlessly integrates all technologies, executes a thorough data-mapping and strategy roadmap, and establishes connections between all components while adhering to a best-in-class approach. From user experience (UX) to user interface (UI), we consolidate knowledge acquired from multiple global marketplaces. 

We construct the headless storefront for each Destination Marketplace using Commerce Cloud's Composable Storefront, integrating Mulesoft, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Data Cloud Marketing Cloud, and Heroku.

All technologies can be seamlessly added in a building-block format, allowing the destination to realise the value and ROI at every stage. This incremental implementation strategy ensures the destination has the flexibility to integrate the technologies gradually and align them with each destination’s specific needs and priorities. 

The below table outlines the Salesforce products that can form the pillars of the Destination Marketplace: 

Service Cloud:Service Cloud is Salesforce's customer service and support platform. It helps organisations manage customer inquiries, issues, and support cases across various channels like phone, email, social media, and chat. It enables companies to deliver personalised and efficient customer service by providing a unified view of customer interactions and empowering agents with tools to resolve cases quickly.
Marketing Cloud:Marketing Cloud is Salesforce's marketing automation and communication platform. It allows businesses to create, manage, and execute marketing campaigns across multiple channels, such as email, social media, mobile, and web. With Marketing Cloud, companies can segment and target their audience, analyse campaign performance, and deliver personalised experiences to customers.
Commerce Cloud:Commerce Cloud, formerly known as Demandware, is Salesforce's ecommerce platform. It enables businesses to build and manage their online stores, allowing customers to browse products, make purchases, and complete transactions online. Commerce Cloud offers features like product catalogues, shopping carts, payment processing, and integrations with other Salesforce solutions for a seamless customer experience.
Data CloudData Cloud offers Customer Data Platform (CDP) capabilities. This cloud ensures that customer data is consistently refreshed with information from various touchpoints, offering a faster and more comprehensive view. Data Cloud seamlessly supports essential functions such as marketing, sales, service, commerce, Mulesoft integration platform, and other vital aspects of your business operations.
MuleSoftMuleSoft is not a "Salesforce Cloud" in the same sense as the others listed above. Instead, it is an integration platform that Salesforce acquired. MuleSoft provides tools to connect different applications, data sources, and systems, regardless of whether they are in the cloud or on-premises. It helps organisations create a unified and connected ecosystem by enabling seamless data and communication flow between different IT systems.
Loyalty Cloud:Loyalty Cloud is Salesforce's solution for creating and managing customer loyalty programs. It allows businesses to design and implement loyalty programs to reward and retain their most loyal customers. Loyalty Cloud enables organisations to track customer interactions, purchase history, and engagement to offer personalised rewards, discounts, and incentives. By fostering customer loyalty, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction, increase repeat purchases, and drive long-term customer relationships. 

Learn how Astound Commerce and Salesforce together harness the power of data to create unforgettable personalised experiences at every touch point, transforming your destination into a true customer delight!

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