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How AI Is Changing The Industry

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How AI Is Changing The Industry

CEO at Travelpayouts, one of the largest affiliate marketing networks focused on the travel market.

ChatGPT is giving Google a run for its money and has become a harbinger of what AI has in store for markets. Businesses are already adapting to this new reality, and the travel industry is no exception. Virtual assistants are learning how to plan whole travel itineraries, and chatbots are handling more and more support queries.

You wouldn’t be crazy to think that smart technologies like ChatGPT will radically change the way we travel. But in fact, they already have. We’re booking our own flights, checking our own bags, coordinating with hotel staff in languages we don’t speak and taking virtual tours of cities we’ve never been to, all thanks to artificial intelligence.

But the list doesn’t end there. Here are a few more ways in which AI is already bringing us the tourism of the future.

Support Bots

Digitization and automation mean reduced overhead, and travel businesses are leveraging these techniques. While just a few years ago chatbot tech support seemed brand new, today AI is replacing human support teams left and right. And travelers are quickly adapting to these new realities: According to a survey by Ubisend, 48% of consumers don’t care whether they get their information from bots or call centers.

One of the best examples of successful chatbot tech in the travel industry is Juliet by WestJet. Even before Covid, this virtual assistant was able to handle 74% of client support requests. When the pandemic started, Juliet saw a 45-fold increase in requests, but the system easily kept up with demand. That means the technology has essentially been able to do the job of entire client support teams.

AI Travel Agents

More and more client transactions are taking place via chatbot. According to a TIDIO study, chatbots are one of the most apparent trends for 2023. Sixty-two percent admitted that they prefer to use an online chatbot service because it quickly can help them instead of waiting for an actual customer service representative to take their call.

But bots can do a lot more than chat; they can also find you the perfect flight. Users of travel services generate large amounts of metadata that are difficult for unaided humans to analyze. This is where machine learning (ML) can be a great help: In addition to analyzing the time spent on a site or a user’s search history, ML helps take into account past reviews of flights and hotels in order to provide tailored recommendations. Booking.com, for instance, works this way, and Kayak uses advanced virtual assistants to automate customer support.

Still, the chat window format does work great for virtual assistants. For instance, ChatGPT can already handle requests like “3-day itinerary in Las Vegas for my 70-year-old parents” with flying colors. Just add a calendar and payment terminal to that functionality and you’ve got a fully fledged e-travel agent that can identify the best destination pairs and the most profitable routes and dates by combining over 30 factors in seconds.

Front-Desk Robots

The Henn na Hotel in downtown Tokyo opened in 2015 with 40 people on staff. But that didn’t last—they managed to cut their employees down to seven individuals and replace the rest with humanoid robots.

It was actually the pandemic and increased demand for social distancing that prompted the pivot. Instead of using virus-bearing Homo sapiens, the hotel’s owners put multilingual robots at reception and “hired” robo-bellhops to carry luggage and even recommend nearby cafés and activities.

Of course, machines aren’t ready to entirely replace humans in the hospitality industry. The technology is expensive, and only major players and brands can afford it right now. But robots have already demonstrated that they can handle routine tasks, which means that, as prices fall, we can likely expect small and midsize companies to be more and more interested in them, as well.

Face ID As Security

To most people, facial recognition just saves them from punching in their phone’s passcode. But Face ID software is also being actively developed for the tourism industry. Airlines like JetBlue, LOT and Adria Airways are using it to identify passengers.

Momentum for biometrics is actually nothing new. IATA’s 2017 Global Passenger Survey indicated that roughly 64% of respondents supported the use of biometrics in airports to reduce check-in times, and U.S. airports began implementing the technology back in 2018 as part of the Simplified Arrival program.

Biometrics are also proving useful in the hospitality industry. Face ID helps serve regular customers at chain hotels even faster and determines relevant recommendations for them. Not only does it help identify guests for security purposes, but it also allows hotels to offer exclusive greetings and bonuses and to customize their services to the client’s needs.

AI Design In Marketing

The robot revolution doesn’t just affect the front end of the travel industry. It’s also making a big splash in the marketing world. AI art software is rapidly improving, able to create high-quality images with increasing accuracy. One can imagine a future in which marketing teams use them to produce graphics for ad campaigns. However, the legality of using AI trained on copyrighted works is controversial, so we may need to content ourselves with using AI art as inspiration—at least for now.

There’s no need to fear a future in which robots are a part of the travel industry because, in many ways, they already are. In fact, AI has been an essential player for years now, and it’s not going anywhere.


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With Its Novel Affiliate Model, The Sporting News Bets on Lifetime Value

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With Its Novel Affiliate Model, The Sporting News Bets on Lifetime Value

Sports publisher The Sporting News raised $15 million in Series A funding in September, in large part because of the unique affiliate marketing model it employs.

The company, like a growing number of sports media newsrooms, generates revenue from referring its readers to sportsbooks and gambling operators. 

But unlike traditional affiliate models—where retailers like Amazon pay publishers like Wirecutter on a cost-per-acquisition basis each time a customer makes a purchase—The Sporting News uses a revenue-share structure, meaning that it receives a percentage of the lifetime value of the new customers it sends to gambling operators.

“When it comes to delivering a customer to a platform with a longer use case, it is short-sighted to take a one-time fee,” The Sporting News CEO Rich Routman said. “If I send someone to a streaming platform, and they spend $10 a month for five years, why would I take a $20 bounty? I’ll take $2 a month for five years.”

The model enables The Sporting News to act more as a long-term partner to the sportsbooks it works with, sharing in their successes by generating revenue when their referrals spend money. This year, the sports-betting industry in the U.S. is projected to generate $7.62 billion in revenue, according to Statista.

Interest in this kind of model has risen as publishers look to diversify their revenue streams.

While affiliate marketing and commerce are critical in these efforts, they are challenging because publishers have to stack up thousands—if not millions—of individual purchases to make the operation worthwhile. 

But revenue-share models let publishers generate recurring income from the customers they generate while placing the onus on them to source quality referrals—a dynamic similar to performance advertising.

Potential in other publishing sectors

The revenue-share model is commonplace in Europe, where the sports-betting market is more mature. The Dutch firm Better Collective, for instance, projects 2023 revenues of $345 million, according to company filings.

But it’s rarer in the U.S., where gambling on sporting events became legal federally just five years ago. So far, only sports publishers have embraced the model, as it functions best in industries in which customers have high lifetime values.

But there is no technical reason why it wouldn’t suit other media companies with similar market dynamics, such as software sales or subscription services, said Bryce Widelitz, vice president of publisher innovation at partnerships management platform impact.com.

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How Creators Are Powering Social Commerce

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How Creators Are Powering Social Commerce

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In the ever-evolving landscape of social media and shopping, a profound shift is underway as retail giants like Amazon and Walmart, along with social media platforms such as TikTok and YouTube, rely on creators to delve deeper into social commerce.

At the forefront of this transformative journey are creators, emerging as pivotal players in steering the course of social commerce.

From Walmart launching its own creator marketplace to the emergence of TikTok Shop, here are the key developments.

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Cyber Monday 2023: The best extended deals from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Apple and more

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As a participant in multiple affiliate marketing programs, Localish will earn a commission for certain purchases. See full disclaimer below*

There is still time for Cyber Monday savings. If you didn’t have time to pick stuff up on Cyber Monday, don’t worry as many of your favorite brands still have extended Cyber Monday sales. Here is every major brand’s extended Cyber Monday and Black Friday 2023 sales that you need to know. Check out best Cyber Monday deals under $100 and best Cyber Monday deals on Amazon.

Deals from top retailers

Amazon

Amazon’s Cyber Monday event has ended, but there’s still time for holiday shopping with sales up to 71% on all things tech, household appliances and more.

Cyber Monday 2023 The best extended deals from Amazon Walmart

This is your last chance to get the Apple Airpods 2nd Gen for under $100.

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The most powerful Beats headphones yet, the Studio Pro is on sale for more than 50%.

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Hisense 58-Inch ULED 4K Smart Fire TV

The crisp Hisense TV is on sale for 41% off.

Walmart

Walmart’s Cyber Monday Deals is live until supplies last, with massive sales on items from Dyson, Sony, Apple and more.

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PlayStation 5 Spider-Man 2 Bundle

The PS5 bundle comes with the hit Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 disc for 10% off.

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The Xbox Series S bundle comes with an additional Xbox controller and a 3-month Game Pass subscription.

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The fan-favorite Bissell Vac-and-Steam All-in-one is on sale for nearly $100 off.

Home Depot

Home Depot is offering Cyber Monday deals online and in stores now through 11/29, with up to 60% off on home appliances.

Best home products deals

HexClad Cookware

Gordon Ramsay’s favorite cookware brand is offering 50% off their excellent pan and pot sets for Cyber Monday 2023.

HexClad 12-piece Cookware Set

At 40% off, you could have Gordon Ramsey’s favorite 12-piece cookware set for the lowest price ever.

Dyson

Dyson deals are the best, with many of its revolutionary hair products and vacuums now on sale for up to 50%.

1701217563 385 Cyber Monday 2023 The best extended deals from Amazon Walmart

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Dyson’s revolutionary Supersonic Hair Dryer is on sale for the first time this year – grab this excellent product for 25% off.

West Elm

West Elm is giving 70% off on many of its best luxury furniture for extended Cyber Monday sales.

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Roar & Rabbit Geo Inlay Nightstand

This beautiful nightstand is going for 30% off at West Elm.

Solo Stove

Solo Stove is the best fire pit retailer on the market, so get their warmth for up to 40% off.

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Secure some holiday warmth with the table top Mesa fire pit for 22% off.

Tech and entertainment

Hulu

Take advantage of Hulu’s amazing Black Friday deal for a limited time! Subscribe to the Hulu (With Ads) plan for 99 per month for one year, current regular monthly price after. Get this deal now by clicking here. Ends 11/28/23. Eligibility restrictions and terms apply.

Best jewelry, clothing and fashion deals

Crocs

Crocs’ Cyber Week sale are hosting sales up to 50%.

crocs

The Classic Clog is a classic for a reason at 25% off.

UNIQLO

UNIQLO is having its only sale of the year, with amazing Cyber Week deals for your online shopping experience.

Nordstrom

Nordstrom has Cyber Monday deals until midnight tonight, offering up to 82% off across all categories like Nike, UGG, Calvin Klein, Tory Burch and more.

Lululemon

The popular athleisure wear company has a number of great extended Cyber Monday finds, especially in their “We Made Too Much” page for the holiday shopping season.

Best haircare and cosmetics deals

Find deals from Ulta, Sephora and more.

Ulta

Ulta’s Cyber Monday sales are now live and ends Tuesday November 28th, with up to 50% select beauty products.

The Walt Disney Co. is the parent company of Hulu and this ABC station.

* By clicking on the featured links, visitors will leave Localish.com and be directed to third-party e-commerce sites that operate under different terms and privacy policies. Although we are sharing our personal opinions of these products with you, Localish is not endorsing these products. It has not performed product safety testing on any of these products, did not manufacture them, and is not selling, or distributing them and is not making any representations about the safety or caliber of these products. Prices and availability are subject to change from the date of publication.

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