By Brendan Jones, director of travel and leisure at Ve
Booking travel is not always a straightforward process, with so much choice at hand for the consumer. Any sensible booker is going to do their research before handing over their payment details.
In fact, on average bookers check around 40 different sites over a six-week period before choosing the best holiday deal. It’s also likely that they will be using multiple devices along the way.
• Bookers visit 40 sites before converting
• The booking process takes approx. 6 weeks
Although we’re becoming more accustomed to the omni-channel process, it can be difficult for a company to track a user’s journey if they constantly switch between devices.
The pattern seems to go like this: the majority of bookers – or ‘liquid consumers’ as the Interactive Advertising Bureau call them – use their mobile to do the research while they convert on their desktop or laptop.
• 7 in 10 bookers use mobile to research
• Only 17% use mobile to convert
Stats via hotelmarketing.com
Will a booker convert on their mobile?
It might seem obvious why bookers would rather convert on a desktop or a laptop. You can better concentrate on what you are doing, are less likely to make mistakes by pressing the wrong button and you’d rather be sitting comfortably in a controlled environment before committing to that final click. Such is the browser culture we are familiar with.
However, if it was just as easy and stress-free, consumers would be more inclined to book the whole journey on their mobile. This is where travel marketers can make a difference by optimising their sites for a mobile audience.
With consumers, it’s all about trust. If a travel mobile site does not appear trustworthy, has a clunky checkout process or is not optimised for mobile, then a booker may prefer to convert on desktop, or worse yet, abandon.
So it’s imperative for travel marketers to promote ease, trust and mobile optimisation. We’ve listed below some tips to help:
• Avoid lengthy forms at the checkout stage
• Have clear and unmissable calls to action
• Develop a solid product selection
• Include trust and payment icons
• Be upfront with costs
• Keep extra information (e.g. security and delivery) on show
• Adapt the website design
• Ensure quick load times
• Implement inline validation
Bridging the gap between mobile and desktop
The booking journey needs to be streamlined across all devices. Marketing must be consistent throughout, from branding to design to tone, while also adapting to the subtle differences in format and user behaviour owing to each platform.
Of course the most important thing is whether a customer books or not, regardless of which device they’re on. However, bridging the gap between mobile and desktop is becoming a higher priority for travel companies wanting to compete successfully in a crowded market.
Every device needs to be able to handle the needs of your customers.