We don’t plan our holidays like our parents did and our children probably won’t plan theirs like we do now. Online travel shopping is more complex than ever before – it’s no longer a linear funnel and there are so many ways for shoppers to surf it.
Do online shoppers choose you first?
The challenge for all online travel retailers is to attract customers to their site and to keep them coming back over time. So with an eye on the future, we wanted to find out more about how online shoppers decide where to book their next vacation, and what attracts them to different websites.
To address these questions, we co-sponsored and actively support Phocuswright on one of their latest whitepapers ‘Influencing Travellers in the New Digital Funnel’. Together, we unlocked new opportunities for online travel retailers (OTAs and metasearch companies alike) to target and influence consumers and to monetize their multi-channel shopping behavior in eight different markets.
Merchandising matters (a lot)
The report confirms that online shoppers still look for the best deals above all else. However, many are not clear on which channels actually deliver the lowest price. Online retailers offering a great user experience, clear transparent offers and associated functionalities and services such as merchandising (ancillary services, cross-selling, and Fare Families) are therefore more likely to retain shoppers.
Mobile is king
There’s no doubt too that the global shift to mobile will have a fundamental impact on the travel supply chain, affecting both the traffic acquisition game and the role of intermediaries. More than half of Chinese leisure travellers and 27% of those in Brazil shopped for their trips via smartphone. In the United States, PC use is falling while smartphone and tablet use is strong at 18%. At this stage, online travel retailers dominate the mobile crowd over supplier direct channels. In the USA, flight shoppers using smartphones were three times more likely to do so via an OTA compared with a supplier website or app.
Some OTAs have gone as far as adopting a mobile-first strategy, and others are likely to follow suit as users start to favor complementary content to air—like destination activities, hotel details and airport transfers—that will enrich their experience on the go. Delivering that user experience through innovative search features and consistent merchandising flow represent the next key loyalty drivers that will determine your business success over the years to come. At Amadeus, we have the technology, functionality and content ready to support this evolution and shape the future of your online travel business.
Are you ready?
For more data and information, read the full Phocuswright whitepaper ‘Influencing Travellers in the New Digital Funnel’.
Originally published on the Amadeus corporate blog.