Deep data insights are driving COVID-19 recovery strategies across all industries, including the travel and entertainment sectors where promising signs of improvement are starting to emerge, according to two reports by Mastercard that analyze how companies and consumers are weathering the pandemic and preparing for the future.
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Its mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible.
The report ‘Sailing Against the Wind’ features case studies on six sectors in Asia Pacific – restaurants, finance, mass retail, health & beauty, travel and government – that highlight effective tactics to harness the power of analytics, including performance clustering, phased benchmarking and consumer segmentation. The specific examples also connect to broader themes for each industry on how to use the right data, tools and expertise to understand the impact of a crisis and drive response strategies.
Businesses and governments in Asia, particularly East and Southeast Asia, have been navigating the economic implications of Covid-19 longer than elsewhere. Those who proactively leverage the right data, tools and expertise can better understand the impact of a crisis on their stakeholders and harness the power of deep data insights to drive response strategies.
The six organizations represented in this report each cover a distinct sector in a different Asian country. Their courses to recovery each follow separate approaches:
Restaurants — performance clustering
Finance – phased benchmarking
Mass Retail – consumer segmentation
Health & Beauty – propensity modeling
Travel – fare parameterization
Governments – spend analytics
While none of the six organizations are through it yet, they are navigating the new normal with greater confidence thanks to the power of carefully constructed advanced and predictive analytics – making their success stories so far instructive for the region and more broadly for the world.
“Businesses in Asia Pacific have been dealing with the pandemic longer than anywhere else. In the midst of continued uncertainty in the operating environment and the ongoing change in consumer sentiment and behavior, businesses need a compass to chart their path to growth and many are finding that clarity through data-driven insights,” said Donald Ong, Senior Vice President, Mastercard Advisors, Asia Pacific.
“Combined with analytics expertise, agile strategic planning, a relentless focus on the changing consumer and a sharp pivot to digital, these businesses are clearly accelerating their pace of recovery.”
Travel picks up closer to home
As restrictions on movement start to ease and economies begin showing signs of improvement, Mastercard Recovery Insights: Travel Check-In identifies key trends in the Group of 20 nations that reflect broader consumer spending patterns – in particular the shift to a smaller retail radius as people travel and spend closer to home.
Despite the challenges brought on by Covid-19, there are promising signs in consumer spending – including hard-hit sectors like travel, according to Mastercard Recovery Insights. Mastercard’s ‘Recovery Insights: Travel Check-In’, the second report in its series focused on the impacts of the pandemic, including emerging trends in travel spending.
In particular, the analysis of anonymized and aggregated sales activity across the Mastercard network, including in-person and online transactions, shows that Italy, Russia and France are leading in terms of the recovery of travel and entertainment spending across the G20. This includes travel sectors such as airlines and lodging as well as activities such as eating out. Despite being a focus of the pandemic earlier this year, Italy’s significant restaurant culture and extensive domestic tourism industry have helped it to bounce back faster than other markets, including the U.S, Brazil and India.
As the broader global economy begins to show signs of improvement, a number of trends have emerged that mirror overall consumer spending — in particular the shift to a smaller retail radius as consumers travel and spend closer to home.
“There’s no doubt that people love to travel. What we’re seeing, though, is that how they’re traveling has adapted during this time. Gas spending, restaurant spending, bike rental spending — all are improving, showing that the rebound is happening but is focused on local travel and local spending. In other words for those of us in the U.S., the great American road trip has returned in a new way,” says Steve Sadove, Mastercard senior advisor and former CEO of Saks.
The analysis of anonymized and aggregated transaction activity across the Mastercard network shows Italy, Russia and France are leading the recovery in travel and entertainment spending, largely as a result of the opening of European corridors. In many Asia Pacific markets, the recovery depends more on domestic sentiment than on regional travel arrangements.
Trends highlighted in Mastercard Recovery Insights: Travel Check-In include:
- Localism Takes Off: Consumers are getting out and spending but maintaining a tighter footprint with a “home-centered retail radius”.
- Boutique is Chic: Travelers are increasingly opting to stay small – with a rise in spending at boutique hotels. Recently, the global recovery rate of small independent hotels has outpaced the recovery of large hotels by more than 50%.
- Consumer Travel Leads the Recovery: An analysis of consumer cards compared to business cards shows that spending on consumer air travel and auto rentals is returning ahead of commercial travel.
Mastercard has been committed to helping retailers, restaurants, consumer brands and many others navigate the challenges of the pandemic – and now the recovery. This has included providing deep data insights and making data-driven tools available to governments and small businesses to give a timely snapshot of economic performance. Being able to make informed decisions is critical to the long-term success of companies and communities around the world.