Article

Graham Charlton
Graham Charlton 24 April 2019
Categories B2C, Ecommerce, Research

How Travel Websites Can Increase Online Bookings

​In this post, we’ll look at some of the key features and tactics used by the top online travel sites to improve conversion rates.

We looked at the features and tactics used by the top 50 transactional travel websites (based on Alexa rankings).


Auto-Complete in Site Search

As users type a destination, auto complete in site search suggests possible matches for the user based on the text entered.

This speeds up the process for travellers, and avoids mistakes which could lead to inaccurate or zero search results. Google claims that autocomplete can speed up searches by 25%.

Here’s a good example from Expedia, which suggests destinations as you type. It avoids user errors when entering tricky spellings.


Flexible Search

This allows people to search beyond specific days, perhaps across an entire month, or for available holidays three days either side of the dates entered.

This means travellers can see what’s available without pinning them down to specifics. It's good for a broad search when you start researching holidays, and means you don’t have to narrow down your options or carry out lots of separate searches.

Thomas Cook is a good example here. It allows you to be relatively vague about dates and destinations. 
 


Booking Abandonment Emails

Booking abandonment emails are sent when users begin a booking online but abandone before they finish. These emails remind users of the flight or holiday they were about to book, and send them back into the booking process.

This can help users in the research phase by saving booking details for them, and allows sites to recover abandoned bookings. 30% of the top 50 travel sites send emails after users abandon a booking.

Iberia-booking-abandonment-email.png


Use of Maps

Maps are a great way to help travel shoppers understand their destination better. For example, they can be used to show how close a hotel or villa is to key locations such as the nearest beach, town centres or restaurants.

They can also be great for search, as customers can search by location, finding available hotels near town centres, local beaches, and so on.


User Reviews

Reviews are great social proof, and they help customers to decide what’s right for them, and to avoid hotels with poor service or smelly bathrooms. Indeed, many people don’t often book without them – 95% of travellers read reviews before booking.

Having reviews helps with the research process and, for travel sites, providing reviews  means they’re more likely to stay on their site to research rather than using tripadvisor.


Address Entry Shortcuts

Postcode look-up tools or autosuggest options can speed up the address entry process, making booking easier. It can also help to avoid address entry errors.

However, just 4 of the top 50 travel sites use this. It’s a little surprising as this is a very good way to simplify the booking process.

 


Content About Destination

Content on-site, ideally available during research and booking, can help users to research their holiday without having to leave the site.

It gives them this useful information at the point when they’re considering a purchase. We found that 40% of sites used content, but often it was located away from the booking process where it may not be seen. 


Use of Urgency

Key information showing customers how many people are booking, how many hotel rooms are available on a given date, or how long they have left to take advantage of a special offer can nudge people into making a decision more quickly.

For example, if there are just three rooms remaining in the hotel they are considering, they’d better move fast to avoid missing out. 

For example, Hotels.com provides useful information which helps customers to make a decision.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Personalize Your Marketing Using 15 AI-Powered Prompts

Personalize Your Marketing Using 15 AI-Powered Prompts

Personalization has undoubtedly become one of the key elements that marketers shouldn’t ignore or underestimate any longer. With consumers increasingly expecting tailored experiences, the ability to customize...

Georges Fallah
Georges Fallah 30 May 2024
Read more
How to Review a Website — A Guide for Beginners

How to Review a Website — A Guide for Beginners

A company website is crucial for any business's digital marketing strategy. To keep up with the changing trends and customer buying behaviors, it's important to review and make necessary changes regularly...

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 25 March 2024
Read more
Craft the Winning Experience: A Deep Dive into Customer Experience (CX)

Craft the Winning Experience: A Deep Dive into Customer Experience (CX)

Understanding Customer Experience (CX) is crucial for business success. This blog explores CX, trending questions, and the Future of CX. Learn how to craft exceptional experiences that keep customers coming back for...

Sukhdev Singh
Sukhdev Singh 5 June 2024
Read more
7 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing is Important For Your Business

7 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing is Important For Your Business

In the past two decades social media has become a crucial tool for marketers, enabling businesses to connect with potential customers. If your business has yet to embrace social media and you want to know why it is...

Sharron Nelson
Sharron Nelson 29 February 2024
Read more
The Impact of New Technology on Marketing

The Impact of New Technology on Marketing

Technology has impacted every part of our lives. From household chores to business disciplines and etiquette, there's a gadget or app for it. Marketing has changed dramatically over the years, but what is the...

Alex Lysak
Alex Lysak 3 April 2024
Read more