June 15, 2007

Booking Travel Products Online

In the last quarter of '06, Forrester Research released findings on why there is still a resistance for consumers to book their tour and travel plans through the Web. Over 5,000 North American tourists were polled to reveal the top 3 reasons why they put down the mouse and pick up a phone to book their travel plans. The top of the list is an obvious choice, people are affraid to put their personal information over the Net. With the rampent credit card fraud and identity theft in the news, people don't know what they can trust. In 2006 32 percent of those polled said that the reason they use traditional travel-reservation methods is fear of identity theft.If you are an online retailor you better make it clear that your site is secure from the beggining of any transaction in order to appease any of these fears.

The second largest turn-off of those polled was the lack of customizable options for their selection. Whether it was a type of model, room configuration, dietary requirements, the people want to be heard. Give the options when customers are booking, you never know this could lead to an upsale!

The last reason people preferred not to book on line was that there were user interface problems. If a common tourist can not figure out how to book and what the result will be, they are not going to follow through with the reservation. Give the consumer some scope, let them know how many steps are required to complete the booking. Tell them what the outcome will be, will they receive an email? Will they get further confirmation once the tour has been validated? Give them a sense of control of the situation and you will guarantee more reservations streaming in through your website.