Technology

OTA challenges of converting bookings

Kate Webster

SaleCycle has identified travel booking abandonment online as being one of the biggest challenges facing travel companies in its Remarketing Report for Q2 2016.

The Behavioural Marketing Solutions Company says that more people abandoned their online bookings in Asia Pacific than anywhere globally in the last quarter.

The study, which gathers cart abandonment and remarketing data from over 70 travel brands globally, reveals that APAC travel sites performed particularly poorly and lost the most customers at the point of purchase, with a cart abandonment rate of 83.1 percent in Q2, compared to 80.1 percent globally.

However, the number of those abandoning online bookings to price compare is around 37 percent.

SaleCycle chief revenue officer for APAC, Chris Brinkworth, said “APAC has the highest travel booking abandonment rate globally for the second quarter running, but many of these people would have left to price compare, so there is a real opportunity for travel websites to tempt those customers back to finish their bookings.”

Australian travel and accommodation marketers spent around AU$38.5 million on general display advertising during the quarter ending March 2016, according to the PWC and IAB Online Advertising Expenditure Report. Investing huge marketing budgets to attract travellers to their sites, only to lose the vast majority at the point of purchase is a very valid concern for the travel sector that needs to be addressed.

A frustrating or time consuming user experience seems to be one of the reasons people leave once they are on a travel site, as SaleCycle’s Booking Abandonment Survey said that 13 percent abandoned their online bookings due to a complicated checkout and 26 percent left when they were asked for personal details.

Travel is still an extremely price sensitive purchase and remains a highly competitive sector, because the abandonment rate when users were shown the price of travel was 57 percent.

“Often consumers are just not ready to complete a travel booking during the first visit, since it is such a significant purchase and they may need to check with their partner or employer first. However, this region has a long way to go to match the lower travel abandonment rates of Europe and North America, which have widely adopted remarketing tools that give them the ability to communicate quickly and efficiently with potential travellers who abandon their online bookings,” Brinkworth added.

With more than 87 percent of travellers claiming that they would consider returning to an abandoned online booking, SaleCycle provides that personalised safety net for travel brands to not only prevent abandonment from carts and sign-up forms, but also to reconnect travel companies with potential travellers who do exit before booking.

 

Report highlights for APAC Travel Sector:

  • APAC travel abandonment rate for Q2 2016 – 83.10%
  • Global travel abandonment rate for Q2 2016 – 80.10%
  • Abandonment rate for online bookings to price compare (travel) – 37.00%
  • Abandonment rate for online bookings because of complicated checkout – 13.00%
  • Travel abandonment rate when shown price – 57.00%
  • Travel abandonment rate when asked for personal details – 26.00%
  • Those who would consider returning to an abandoned booking – 87.00%

SaleCycle provides its online abandonment solutions to over 70 travel companies globally including Virgin Atlantic, Radisson, Best Western and Hertz.



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