It's safe to say that 2016 has represented a somewhat turbulent year for the travel industry. One moment we're trying to second-guess the consequences of the Brexit vote, the next we're trying to estimate the effects of the American election. Fluctuations in both the markets and travellers' confidence took their toll and, as a recent Tnooz analysis pointed out, resulted in online spending habits becoming increasingly erratic.
However, this outlook did not spell disaster for the industry. Opportunities were there for the taking, particularly with the rising interest in British holidays from European travellers, keen to cash in on the weaker pound. Data from online travel agencies, collected by ContentSquare in the wake of Brexit, found that the average value of purchases to UK destinations rose by 38% in the weeks after the vote was announced.
In order to take advantage of these opportunities in an uncertain market where consumers are choosing to make careful, considered choices, ensuring your web user experience is honed to perfection is essential.
The key to success in 2017 goes beyond making sure your website looks the business and is fully optimised for mobile. Travel businesses need to analyse the points during the buying funnel where they are losing customers, and ensure they put steps in place to lower attrition rates. Tnooz reported research which found that more than half (62.9%) of web users chose to read online reviews during the 10th browsing session of their journey. This would indicate that engagement could be raised by providing engaging review-based content at this point to cater to consumer demand.
If you're not doing it already, we'd also say that 2017 needs to be the year you take the trend towards personalisation seriously. Travel businesses have a tendency to stick to a 'one size fits all' formula, treating all customers the same. However, the needs of a business traveller compared to a family will be drastically different as are the needs of the impulsive buyer and the one which makes multiple visits and checks the small print before booking. Analytics tools can be used to segment users according to their common online behaviours, making life a lot easier for brands looking to re-target those all-important returning customers. After all, those that come back are much more likely to convert.
How can Digital Trip help?
Re-vamping your web user experience means developing an understanding of how and more importantly why customers behave in a certain way online and tailoring your offering to meet these needs in a personalised way.
If you need some help sprucing up your website or would like more information about our digital solutions...