Gone are the days when luxury travellers were silver-haired and had no familiarity with the digital world. According to The Drum, in 2017 your typical luxury consumer is aged between 25 and 45, has no children (and higher disposable income) and is from Asia or Middle East.
In other words, a large amount of 2017 luxury travellers are Millennials, born in the years when any technology innovation and all the latest gizmos were at hand's reach. In fact, up to 57% of the wealthy stated that they like to have the latest gadgets, which often means being the first to try all the latest IoT devices and wearables.
One of the main reason for buying luxury is its ability to convey status and exclusivity, thus projecting a wealthy aura around the buyer. Following a trend that has been dominating the whole Luxury Industry in the last years, luxury travellers want to live unique experiences, want to be able to try the latest innovations and to try them first, want to feel like the purchase they've just made sets them apart from the rest.
Because consumers are demanding more experiences and less products, the Luxury Travel industry has now the opportunity to shine, provided travel operators and luggage retailers are able to meet travellers' needs and reduce their fears.
Just like traditional luxury consumers, luxury travellers search for added value and perfection, i.e. nothing must go wrong during their holiday.
Spanning from lost or delayed luggage to poor internet connection, there are endless sources of stress which might ruin one's holiday.
Here is why luxury travellers are constantly on the look for solutions that add value to their holiday, tackle their main concerns and ensure a best-in-class experience.
What is more, luxury travellers have started to look for the solution to their problems in the digital world, i.e. Digital Luxury.
Some find it in the world of online booking; some others like to shop online on their mobile (Luxury Mobile Shopping); finally, more and more people like to control every detail of their holiday via their laptop or their smartphone.
Here is when they notice a lack of follow up from luggage retailers and travel operators.
In particular, several retailers fail to provide proper follow up for their products: they relentlessly try to get customers to sign up for loyalty schemes, newsletters and warranties, yet there is a gap in the dark area of "what happens next?".
More in detail, there are not many luxury retailers that make sure nothing bad happens to their products after purchase, which is a major concern for many luxury luggage buyers, especially due to the high prices and premium materials involved in the purchase.
As shown in the graph, 22% travellers are concerned that their luggage might be lost or stolen. If that happens, customers have to deal with two problems at the same time.
On the one hand, they have to deal with the emotional loss and the strong feelings that follow any theft. Not only are they left with nothing to wear and none of their belongings, but they often feel annoyed and, in the worst case scenario, violated.
On the other hand, travellers also need to deal with the economic damage that losing a luxury piece of luggage brings about. Signature pieces of luggage are priced thousands of dollars and losing one of them can undoubtedly be compared to losing a piece of jewelry or a piece of high-tech equipment. They are investments and works of art in their own right. What is worse, such luggage is often filled with clothing, accessories, jewels and shoes as expensive as the luggage itself, which further increase the economic damage.
THE BIRTH OF SMART LUGGAGE
To tackle these concerns and prevent their luggage from theft, several luggage retailers have already equipped their products with luggage tracking systems allowing travellers to locate their suitcases at anytime.
Most luggage tracking systems on the market use GPS to locate the items they are placed on. Nevertheless, GPS tracking systems have numerous problems, namely:
- They require a large device to be inserted into;
- They are not accurate in indoor locations;
- They take up a lot of battery.
The rapid development of the Internet of Things, particularly wearables, has brought about a change in the field of luggage tracking. So much so that we have designed and developed the first wifi-based luggage tracking system.
Urban Tracker is a luggage tracking system that connects to the nearest wifi hotspots to locate the item it is placed into or on. Because it is wifi-based, Urban Tracker avoids the problems GPS systems have. Namely:
- A wifi-based tracking system can be installed in small devices;
- It is extremely accurate in indoor environments, thanks to the availability of wifi networks;
- It takes up little battery (battery lasts up to 60 days);
- It just needs a SIM card to work.
Thanks to the wifi connection, this luggage tracking system allows travellers to monitor the location of their luggage at any time on their smartphone. Indeed, the app installed on the traveller's phone allows them to see the exact location of their suitcase, set up alarms in case of unexpected movements and turn off the device when not needed.
What makes Urban Tracker really unique is also its ability to detect flight, which means that it automatically switches off at plane take off and switches back on at landing.
As a result, not only does a wifi-based tracking system tackle traveller's fear of being stolen their luggage, but it also fulfills one of 2017 luxury travellers' primary need: the need to be at the forefront of innovation, onwing the latest IoT technology.
To learn more about the benefits of the Internet of Things for travellers, visit our website.