Personalised content ‘can boost conversions by 60%’

Travel websites have been urged to make more use of personalised information, after a survey found 84% of customers have abandoned their shopping basket in the last year.

Conversion management expert, Maxymiser, which carried out the survey, said due to the large amounts of research travel customers do conversions are generally low.

But it believes there is plenty websites can do to become more effective with personalised content, which can raise conversions by up to 60%, top of the list.

Mark Simpson, founder and managing director of Maxymiser, said: “People have been talking about personalisation for years but no one is really doing it online.”

He said the survey found a surprising number of people

appear to know the url of their travel websites and type them straight into their browser, suggesting a degree of customer loyalty.

“Companies have a great opportunity at the moment to give a differentiated service because you have a whole range of different quality of websites out there,” Simpson said.

“If you can produce something that is way and above the competition you have the ability to really capture the consumer and make them really loyal.”

Key to building loyalty was to segment the audience and produce something that it targeted at niche markets, Simpson added.

Maxymiser works with a number of well established brands including On The Beach, Lastminute.com, The Virgin Group and BMI.

Simpson said it multi-rep testing has found even the slightest tweak to a website can improve conversion rates.

The latest research, carried out by Redshift Research, also found 64% of respondents would not go back to a website if the purchasing process had been unsatisfactory.

Ease of use and speed of processing were cited as two of the most important criteria in consumer decisions.

Work with On The Beach resulted in an unnecessary logo being deleted from the booking page and this increased bookings by £1.2 million.

Simpson said: “Any travel business that is running an e-commerce website needs to wake up to the appalling leakage that is taking place as visitors move through their web pages.

“As this research has clearly highlighted, the majority of travel businesses are losing customers who have actually spent time on the web site and have selected holidays or travel-related products that they are willing to buy.

“If customers continue to abandon their shopping baskets at this rate then it will represent a significant lost revenue opportunity for travel businesses.”

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