Second of four Travolution-hosted seminars at the Travel Technology Show 2009.
Presented by Peter Ballard of Foolproof.
Better Browsing – Top Tips to Improve Website User Experience
#1 – Availability
Many shoppers are flexible on both their dates and destination, yet most tools require users to be specific on both. Providers need to build tools that allow ‘fuzzy’ searches on both dates and locations, if they are to engage users in the early stages of shopping.
#2 – Price
How price and value is communicated to shoppers. Sites like Virgin Atlantic and Skyscanner are leading the way in showing shoppers ranges of prices over various dates, so that users can identify cheaper times to travel. If a provider can overlay choices of destination as well as price, they would have a very compelling shopping experience.
#3 – Specification
How information is presented to enable shoppers to determine if a particular option meets their needs. Sites are slowly replacing brochures, especially with younger travellers, and the quality of both the photography, descriptions of the property, and maps to show the local area, form one of the pivotal moments in the final decision. Many sites under-invest in this area, and lose sales to competitors.
#4 – Opinion
The impact of word-of-mouth and user-generated reviews alongside traditional forms of professional advice is growing fast. Providers that embrace this, both by featuring customer reviews on their site, and encouraging customers to return from their trips and rate their experiences, are building up a valuable and searched for resource.
#5 – Time
The “hidden” dimension. Most travel shopping processes are protracted and shoppers invest considerable time and emotional effort. Most sites are not set up to serve different customers at different stages in the decision making process. Providers should engage email, saved itineraries, and quick link to previously searched options to deliver a more engaged shopping process.
For a discounted copy of the report on which these Top Tips are based, contact Peter Ballard.