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With 71% of customers expecting assistance when stuck within five minutes, high rates of abandonment, and a diverse range of platforms from which customers can speak, it has never been more important to listen to the voice of your customer.

Indeed, we have collected nearly 1.5m handwritten nuggets of information from almost 400 sites.

So, what niggles the modern day holiday maker? What prevents them from converting? And, most importantly, what can you do to keep them from journeying away from your site and into the arms of your competitor?

1. Price: it’s a killer!

One piece of customer feedback: 

I am unsure of the price as on the right it tells me a price but for the total booking on the left it says my total is £0.00. So I am unsure if I am booking for tickets and the hotel or just the hotel for the price stated.

This one might seem obvious, but consumers are approximately 7.4 times more price sensitive online than offline so retaining a competitive edge is crucial. Clarity and justification are paramount.

Booking.com is a great example of a site that integrates customer feedback with its latest deals.

By accompanying cost with the number of reviews and average ratings, it creates context and therefore a value system: new customers can weigh up their choices based both on opinion and price. The one reinforces the other.

2. Pictures: make them big, make them beautiful.

More pictures and explanations of what is actually in the park.

You can’t see any more pictures of the hotel you click on as the screen doesn’t work.

Inadequate photography, either for its lack or its inferior quality, comes up time and time again. This is especially important for luxury brands that want to display their ethos but it is also a tool for description for sites that focus more on deals.

Slideshows, 3D images and videos are all great ways to show the customer a holistic view of the place they are viewing. The more interactive, the better.

Z Ocean Hotel does this well. By combining expansive, prominent photographs with a link to a webcam of their nearby beach, potential clients can not only check out the scenery and facilities, but gain an impression of current weather too. 

3. Latency: slower site, slower revenue

Site is very slow at times.

According to Aberdeen Group, just a one second increase in the loading speed of a website can lead to a 7% fall in conversion rate. What a waste!

By installing a tag management system you can organise and manage your third party technologies ensuring a speedier, more efficient website.

4. Navigation: lost in translation

Would be nice to have more categories for hotels, like close to the beach etc, to save you trawling through acres of info.

You might have the best holiday packages to offer in the industry but customers won’t care if they are not presented in logical and easily accessible ways. According to Gomez, 88% of customers say they are less likely to return to a website after a poor experience. That’s a really big statistic.  

People generally don’t want to have to trawl through a maze! So make it easy for people by adding navigation points and by highlighting high performing content.

Scott Dunn does this fantastically well. They combine bright, clear image icons with a variety of tabs that ensure they cover all the different ways that a customer would be filtering their holiday decisions.

5. On site search: play tag not stuck in the mud

This follows on nicely from number four. Nothing could be more infuriating than a tantalizing on-site search that doesn’t yield anything more than: “there are 0 matches to your search”.

And with 30% of site visits beginning with an on-site search, it sure couldn’t be any more irritating for your conversion rate either.

So make sure that you highlight filter options, that your search bar is somewhere prominent and you have a comprehensive and easy to use tagging system.

Jet2Holidays does this well by combining a search bar with a drop down feature that lists their suggestions. This directs the search of the customer, making it more likely for them to find a match.

However well you may think you understand your customer, you won’t know them as well as they know themselves.

Combine historical data from your visitors, such as their session number, what types of packages they tend to look at, and how much they’ve spent in the past with customer feedback in order to optimize for conversions, and see your total revenue fly!  

Ian McCaig

Published 14 March, 2014 by Ian McCaig

Ian McCaig is Founder at Qubit and a contributor to Econsultancy.

29 more posts from this author

Comments (3)

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, CTO at Fresh Relevance

Another great idea is email integration.

Give your shoppers a "bookmark" button which saves their current holiday choices and sends it to them as an email - complete with pictures - so they can show it to friends and family.

Once they have made up their minds, the shopper can can click on the email to return and buy.

Under the hood, this is similar to cart abandonment, and it uses the same technology, but shoppers see it as a different thing.

over 2 years ago

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axisrooms

Online hotel booking system plays a vital role in adding to the success of the business. You can keep a correct track of all the transactions as you use the online hotel booking system for the business.

over 2 years ago

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axisrooms

Online hotel booking system can be a great option in offering various themes and layout of the business. Hotel booking is no longer a hassling process with the use of hotel booking system.

over 2 years ago

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