Website security, reassurance and payment methods are identified in a new survey as the top three factors for consumers when making a travel booking online.
The results come from a poll of 250 online travel shoppers and desktop research with 25 top travel sites in 14 countries including the UK.
Customers booking travel want to be reassured that they are in safe hands in every step of the payments process.
A majority (97%) of UK users say it is important for travel booking sites to explain the next stage of the payment process at every turn.
The research by payment company Worldpay also shows that UK consumers want reassurance that their payment details are in safe hands from the second they visit a travel site.
More than half (53%) would be more likely to book travel with a company that displays payment authentication and digital certificate logos on its homepage. Despite this, 86% of UK travel sites do not display these details.
Over 60% of potential UK customers would drop out of the checkout, if the payment method they were expecting to use after seeing it on the homepage was not available.
They are more demanding than shoppers in other countries, although even worldwide 51% of people say they would drop a payment prematurely under the same circumstances.
Nearly one-quarter would not bother to complete a transaction if they could not find their preferred payment method due to a cluttered checkout page.
How payment errors are managed by a travel website can also be key, especially in cases when customers are prompted to re-enter all their payment details following an error.
Thirty-nine per cent of UK consumers say they would abandon a booking if this were to happen, versus 29% of people globally.
Thomas Helldorff, vice president of travel at Worldpay, said: “Paying for travel online demands the exchange of personal information and relatively large sums of money, and it’s understandable that consumers will hesitate before sharing their payment information with a website that does not inspire confidence.
“Travel companies need to put potential travellers at ease right away and give them little reason to second-guess themselves throughout the payments process.”
The importance for travel companies to be transparent carries through to checkout, particularly when it comes to peoples’ preferred payment methods.
Helldorff added: “If there is one thing to take away from the findings in this report it is that the online payments journey is inextricably linked to the user experience.
“Travel companies must make sure the two are in sync at every stage of the payments process.
“They need to reassure customers that their transaction will be quick and secure, and manage any issue that shoppers have to the highest standard of professionalism, otherwise they will struggle to keep potential travellers on board.”