Discounts giving the web a steal over retail and call centres

Price remains the most important factor for UK travellers in the current climate, with online discounts giving the internet edge as consumers “bounce” between the web, the high street and call centres.

The report by eDigitalResearch issued this week benchmarked  18 travel web sites, but also provided an up-to-date overview of how the travel market stands.

Price emerges as the key reason to book in the current climate, with customers willing to “trade brand loyalty for a good deal”.

Brands however can build trust and loyalty by ensuring that their prices are transparent.

The survey was carried out with 1,300 UK consumers in mid-July 2009.

While price is the obvious response of consumers to the credit crunch, the survey also found that Brits are also planning to spend less money when they are on holiday.

Weekend breaks are being cut, while cruises are emerging alongside all-inclusive breaks as consumers look for ways to make budgeting easier.

Consumers are shopping around to get the best deal – more than half the sample visit 25 or more sites before booking.

However, despite the online bias of the methodology, travel agents can also take heart from some of the findings.

“Not everyone welcomes this wide choice [available online], – driving a return to the high street specialist for some customer groups.”

Similarly customers shopping online like the option of being able to call the company as well.

eDigitalResearch also said that they had not seen any impact of swine flu on travel plans.

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