With the promise of summer on its way, many of us are thinking about booking a holiday or short trip away when the weather gets warmer. And considering the digitally-enabled world in which we live, most of us will be headed to the internet in order to do this.
This makes it especially important that travel sites ensure they have a streamlined and informative website. By failing to include some basic things when it comes to online sites, a business will see potential customers slip through their fingers.
Here are some of the most important features to include on a travel website:
Holidays can be expensive and there's no point pussy-footing around the subject. Prices need to be made clear and simple to understand – so no hidden fees or unexpected taxes cropping up at the last minute. Show exactly what is included in the price and anything extra customers can add on if they desire.
Make it easy for customers to plan their trip. Make search filters easy to understand and fairly comprehensive (but not so detailed that customers are overwhelmed - they can decide on more finite details later on). Predictive search can be used to help speed up the process and an easy view calendar is essential, as are departure/arrival times for scheduled journeys to specific destinations.
Both written and visual copy is very important for travel sites. Customers visit travel websites for inspiration, so always ensure the articles produced and pictures posted are representative of the destination, hotel or type of holiday in question – make the content engaging and the images eye-catching.
It's important to remember that a travel website will probably be catering for both new and existing customers. Because of this, it's often good practice to offer different log-in options; for returning customers, provide a sign-in option for if they have already created an account, and also a sign-up option for new visitors. But it's important to not force registrations, so a 'checkout as guest' option is also advised.
If a customer has spent a significant amount of time crafting their ideal holiday getaway on a site, a secure payment option had better be provided too. Redirecting them to another site will aggravate them and disrupt the experience, so work on deploying an internal payment process. If your site is relatively small and doesn't process many transactions, integrate an existing payment system like PayPal.
Finally, providing contact information should be made a priority. Many things can go wrong with a holiday – from sudden cancellations to flight delays or hotel nightmares – so customers will want to know they can get in touch with a member of staff quickly and easily if they need to, to discuss their options should the unexpected occur.
If you'd like to see how we can tick all these boxes and provide you with a cutting-edge travel website, visit our website.