Travel – competitor watch

Travel – competitor watch

At the moment, the Travel market is more fragmented than ever before, with more companies offering travel products, changing consumer habits and more choice for customers in general.

In our recent story, Travel campaign now live, we asked Post Office Chief Marketing Officer, Emma Springham about this:

Our ambition is to remain number one in travel, but what are the market conditions like this year?

Emma said, “It’s a much tougher market for travel. Purchases of foreign currency fell 19% compared to last year (2018), with customers more frequently using debit cards and obtaining currency at destination ATMs. 

Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s all sit above the Post Office on exchange rates and all offer lower minimum order values, plus we’re seeing increased competition from well-known high street brands such as Debenhams and John Lewis. “

This week, we take a more detailed look at our competitors and what that means for us.

The supermarkets

As well as the factors mentioned above, with Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s rates and lower minimum orders, supermarket chains pose an additional threat because they, like Post Office branches, offer customers convenience. However, research shows grocery shoppers are increasingly moving from the big supermarkets to discount supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi, as well as to the smaller, local convenience stores, like the ones many Post Office branches are based in.  

Foreign Exchange Specialists

Foreign Exchange specialists like Travelex, ICE and Eurochange are pretty competitive and have been expanding their branch networks over time. Our advantage over them is our friendly, local service and the fact that we can offer customers such a wide range of products of services, both for travel and more.

The newcomers

Finally, there are the non-traditional competitors, such as Revolut, Monzo, WeSwap and Starling who, despite being seen as challenger banks, now offer customers different ways of spending overseas, which can be particularly appealing in the digital age. They are easy to use and also offer highly competitive rates. By definition, their brands are less well known than Post Office, but as we have seen in recent years, companies that offer a compelling product that is easy to use can very quickly rise in popularity. 

Despite all of this competition and changing customer habits, Post Office still have a quarter of the market in terms of volume share.  

What sets us apart is the friendly, local service Post Office branches offer, combined with good products and the convenience of our branch network. But it’s the conversations between real people that really make the difference.

Get the edge

Our travel workshops received great feedback from postmasters and branch teams who feel it gave them an edge and helped them gain confidence talking to customers about travel. If you missed the workshops, or want a refresher, take a look at our online Travel workshop resources today.