Further, just 14 per cent would book all of the elements of their holiday from the same website. The findings suggest that brands still have a long way to go to build customer loyalty in digital channels.
“Holidaymakers want one of two things – an escape or a new experience,” says Internet psychologist Graham Jones. “Online, the website must match those desires if it is truly to connect. But it must do more than that. Travel websites also need to build trust and confidence – which are powerful motivators for ebookers. A site which lets you down or performs badly is naturally going to impact your confidence in the brand’s ability to deliver a perfect holiday.”
The findings emerged in a survey of over 2,000 British consumers carried out by Tealeaf/YouGov. It discovered that 60% of online bookers say competitive price is what makes the online experience a good one. Functional aspects of websites were relatively important, such as ease of navigation (44%), but choice also plays a role, with 32% saying the destinations on offer are critical and 23% pointing to a choice of holidays.
For one third of consumers, booking a holiday is the most important purchase of the year. As a result, they spend a lot of time browsing and researching, typically visiting an average of four different travel sites between two and four months in advance. Even when they have chosen a travel provider, online bookers will revisit the site three to four times before transacting.