A study has indicated that 60 percent of British online adults who conducted an online travel transaction in the last year are now conducting more transactions online than they did in the past, despite the current economic climate.
And for this, the ability to compare products and prices was cited as the main reason by 80 percent of the respondents, according to the 2009 Survey of Online Consumer Behaviour, conducted by Harris Interactive, commissioned by Tealeaf.
The findings also indicate that travel companies are failing to fully capitalise on this trend, with 79 percent of online adults who have conducted an online transaction on a travel site in the past year saying they have experienced problems when doing so. 47 percent of these advised they would abandon the transaction as a result, with 43 percent saying they would switch to an online or offline competitor. The travel industry should strive to capitalise on the increase of online travel sales by being visible, providing up to date, relevant information and be able to reach the millions of online travel shoppers worldwide.
The percentage of consumers who have experienced problems (81 percent) when conducting online transactions has actually improved compared to last year (92 percent in 2008), with many companies realising the benefits of becoming more ‘customer-centric’ and investing in usability or customer experience management solutions.
The Safari Co. has developed a platform to avoid these problems by implementing simple-to-use navigation and communication systems, as well as a user-friendly website with easy access to relevant information online travelers are searching for on a daily basis.
The survey results show that online adults who conducted transactions on a travel site in the last year are increasingly turning to social media to broadcast their online experiences to others, rather than directly with companies. 14 percent of online adults who encountered problems conducting online transactions said they shared those experiences on a blog or social networking site, twice as many as in 2008 (seven percent). The Safari Co. has responded to the need to do it right by providing a strategic online platform where tourism businesses can promote their services effectively and easily to an ever growing global travel audience.
Some of the tools utilised are online profiling, social media networks, article submissions, photo and video sharing, and direct linking between consumers and business owners. It is of importance for travel companies to capitalise on the growth of online sales by implementing strategies that will grow their online profile and allow travelers to find, contact and book them simply and easily.