Are poor payment options turning off your travel customers? According to a new study from Worldpay, the payment process has a significant impact on conversions - if they suffer problems with payment, your customers might just think twice about booking that trip, says Tnooz.
Carried out in partnership with KAE Marketing Intelligence Limited, the research showed that nearly 50% of customers - out of 3,500 online travel shoppers surveyed across North America, South America, EMEA and APAC - abandoned their online travel booking before completion due to payment-related problems.
Respondents named a number of issues that have turned them off at the check-out during the last year, including:
An over-long checkout process (15%);
Being asked to enter too much information (18%);
Not being offered their payment option of choice (18%);
An unclear payment process (12%); and
Concerns over the security of the website (18%).
Another 18% began the payment process but abandoned it following an error, while 3% abandoned for 'other' reasons.
If a travel website is unable to convince potential customers that their payment will be processed quickly, in a secure environment, and managed to the highest standard of professionalism, you will struggle to keep them on board for long enough to complete their transaction, says Worldpay.
When designing a website it's essential to offer travellers a payment process that allows them to feel confident that the transaction is secure and that the process will be trouble-free and convenient. To this end, there are a number of considerations to take into account.
These include displaying digital security and payment authentication logos in a prominent place to reassure clients, and transparency within the payment process - for example if re-directing them to another site to make a payment, this should be clearly indicated to the customer.
Make sure that payment options are highlighted on the homepage so that there is no disappointment when customers start the check-out process only to find that their payment method is not accepted, subsequently abandoning the site at the critical moment.
If there are any surcharges, ensure that these are communicated early on in the experience, and display prices in the traveller's local currency so that they can assess the value of their booking.
To make the process as simple as possible, it's a good idea to keep the payment page clutter-free to eliminate distractions; and try to minimise the customer details you require. Let customers pre-fill forms wherever possible. For even more ease, payment details should be validated as the customer enters them.
Some customers will appreciate the chance to save their details for next time they visit your travel site, making it easier to check out - but if you offer this service make sure that they're reassured about the privacy of their data.
If a customer has payment-related queries, ensure they can easily find the answers they need using their preferred support tool.
Finally, follow up the transaction with a confirmation email to reassure purchasers about their payment.
In the event that a transaction doesn't go through, clear error messages should explain what happened, and support links should be provided to the relevant department so that customers can get help.