Travel brands have a much tougher time converting web visitors on line than those in other retail sector, Contentsquare’s Travel:Forward event was told last week.
Elise Kik, customer success manager at the digital experience platform, said data reveals how vital it is in travel to optimise the user experience.
A visitor’s propensity to buy in travel is at its highest when they on their third or fourth visit, but by the time they are on their tenth, the likelihood of buying is halved.
Site revisit rates are 24% in travel compared to 35% in retail and 50% more users of travel websites abandon carts before check-out than in retail in general, Kik said.
“Why is that? Is there information missing at the point of check-out that could be provided earlier on min the user journey? Travel visitors are much less faithful, less committed and probably less patient.”
Kik said travel firms could focus on a number of areas to increase the likelihood of customers committing to making a booking with them.
The first was offering add-on products and services in a way that is positive and useful for the consumer, not taking what they’d expect to be included and charging for it.
She cited Contentsquare customer Avis, which analysed its ancillary sales on its mobile app and found that 90% of revenue was driven by just three, so these were given greater prominence.
“They found that their highest converting ancillaries were way below the fold so customers could not find them.
“Listen to your customers, what works for them and what they are interested in. Ancillary uptake for Avis increased by 14%, this paid for the cost of Contentsquare for one year.
The second focus, Kik, said is optimising personalisation strategies which “requires a hell of a lot of data”. “How much are your customers really prepared to you them know about them?”
Kik said personalisation does not necessarily have to be based on personal information but on known details of the trip like the current weather in destination, dates of travel and check-out times.
The third and final focus Kik recommended was on driving bookings through email and what makes consumer communications stand out in a crowded market.
“It’s really important that it is compelling and speaks to the consumer and drives them on to your website. Add extra bits of information to your emails.
“If the consumer starts to think about you as a handy travel companion you will really optimise those emails and get them on to your site.
“It’s important to understand visitors’ behaviour on site as well when they come to it from a newsletter or an email.
“Understand what your good customers are doing on your website and what causes them to convert. Look at what they are interacting with.
“Have consistency from email to landing pages, make them relevant. It really needs to match what they have in their email.
“Everyone has different intent. It’s really important to understand where in the funnel you need to drop them off.”