How Courchevel Tourisme partnered with Digital Social Retail to create the smartest ski city
A recognizable product does not automatically correlate to the long-term success of a company. While the product may draw consumers, it is ultimately up to those in charge to entice them to return—a task that’s becoming harder and harder in a modern crowded market. This is the challenge Courchevel Tourisme encountered entering into the ski season of 2016-17.
Winter is Coming
The Courchevel ski resort is “renowned as a billionaire’s winter playground and the most glamorous ski resort in France.”
Those who visit are are invited to stay in one of four accommodations: Courchevel 1850, Courchevel 1650, Courchevel 1550 and Courchevel 1300, where they will be treated to a “tradition of excellence.”
The tradition, which stems back over 70 years, offers unique offers, as well as, skiing and snowboarding across the world’s most expansive interlinked ski area.
One of the resorts of the Trois Vallées (Three Valleys) in France, Courchevel offers the largest of the ski areas in the region, with 150km of piste serviced by 58 lifts, and a massive amount of off-piste skiing and snowboarding.
To accommodate travel across this expansive terrain, Courchevel is interconnected via the lifts and slopes with Méribel, Les Menuires, La Tania, and as far as Val Thorens.
But while Courchevel had experienced success promoting and delivering interconnectedness to their guests via state of the art lift infrastructures, it lacked in its ability to provide real-time, specific information regarding safety, weather and other topics to its guests.
So, Courchevel Tourisme reached out for help. In December 2016, Courchevel Tourisme officially announced a partnership with Digital Social Retail, platform that increases consumer engagement by combining connector technology and digital signage to create the ultimate marketing tool.
The Double Black Diamond of Data Collecting
When Courchevel Tourisme and Digital Social Retail met in late 2016, their goals were similar: How can we best serve the city?
“Courchevel wanted to target residents and tourists by sending them notifications regarding the weather, safety and ski conditions,” said Sylvain Bellaïche, founder and CEO of Digital Social Retail.
Digital Social Retail, which had previously created platforms to connect streets, towns, campuses, decided the best course of action to devising a city-wide plan would be through a three phase process. The three phase process would include setting up a network, information management and analysis of information.
The real challenge in establishing this network of this magnitude, according to Bellaïche, was understanding the placement of connectors over such a large terrain.
“The biggest challenge of the campaign was to figure out where to strategically place the connectors so that the entire resort is completely covered at all times,” Bellaïche said. “The connectors cannot be used at altitudes of more than 2,000 meters and temperatures of less than negative 20°C.”
The choice of connectors is defined according to the client’s strategy, and technical criteria — such as the frequency of transmission, the conditions of transmission of the signal or its range. The configuration of these connectors is then precisely identified on the DSR platform, and grouped according to specific criteria zone activity, transport, school, security, etc.
Once the entire network is connected, Digital Social Retail then moves into the second phase, information management, where Courchevel Tourisme was given the ability to define and schedule message it wished to send to users who have agreed to receive the notifications.
The algorithms are predefined in the parameterization, thereby enabling each connector to send a relevant signal according to its location. If the user decides to open the notification, they see a targeted information from the Social Retail Cloud.
“The Eagle Eye feature of the Social Retail platform allows Courchevel to monitor areas where visitors gather the most,” Bellaïche said. “With this information, Courchevel can then create more targeted promotions and campaigns.”
Once Courchevel Tourisme began to deliver specific information regarding safety, weather and other topics to the mobiles of its residents and tourists, Digital Social Retail was then able to begin the third phase, analysis of information.
“The analytics portion of the Social Retail platform allows Courchevel to monitor how many notifications are sent daily, how many people actually received the notifications, how many notifications were opened, how many users signed up for the loyalty program, how many emails were sent, how many people shared on Facebook and how many people visited their website from the link provided,” Bellaïche said.
The Social Retail analytical tool allowed both companies to collect data in online summary tables and provide predictive solutions for customer analysis, an ability that would be integral to the success of the 2016-17 ski season.
The Smartest Ski City
More than a month into the 2016-17 ski season, Courchevel Tourisme and Digital Social Retail have proved to be a successful partnership.
“This campaign has increased visitor engagement through the number of notifications that have been opened (632 over 11 days), Bellaïche said. “These successes prove that our financial investments and our strategy are bearing fruit.”
The success also proves to Bellaïche that the platform is not only an innovative strategy for the future of marketing but a worthwhile technology capable of producing results in the most extreme of conditions.
“Our SaaS Social Retail platform can be installed anywhere,” said Bellaïche. “We are entering a new major stage; the convergence between the real and virtual worlds is underway.”