Orbitz: Rethinking the Loyalty Program

Orbitz loyalty programIf you’re like me and you utilize sites like Orbitz or Travelocity to search for good deals on travel, you likely heard about Orbitz’s new loyalty program last week.

Instant Gratification

Members of the program will earn “Orbucks” for hotels, flights and vacation packages, and redeem them immediately for hotel stays. President of Orbitz.com, Chris Orton, explained the program allows travelers “to earn and burn instantly.”

For road warriors like myself, this is outstanding. Who likes not being able to access rewards until a certain date or being told the dates you plan to travel are “blacked out”?

In addition, this new loyalty program should make a big impact on revenue for Orbitz as well. The Center for Retail Management at Northwestern University found,

Up to 15% of a business’s most loyal customers account for 55-70% of the company’s total sales.

This statistic alone is enough reason for any B2C business to consider implementing a similar strategy! 

Customer-centric Marketing

Orbitz has opted for a more customer-centric marketing approach that is designed to serve the customer, not push products and services. The biggest difference between the two strategies is in a customer-centric approach, communication is two-way and individualized.

For example, with Orbitz’s new loyalty program, customers don’t have to wait until they accumulate 10,000 points to use them. There are no black out dates and no restrictions on combining rewards with other offers. Further, customers can earn both Orbucks and frequent flier miles without any trouble.

Orbitz has taken into consideration nearly every complaint from every customer of every other travel rewards program and worked to create a customer-focused program that will get customers excited and returning to make future travel plans.