Travel agents big online losers


SINGAPORE: There are far more travel browsers than buyers with the dropout rate as high as 92% when it comes time to pay online for a travel service, according to a recent survey.

Data supplied by advertising and marketing technology company Ve Global showed every sector of the travel industry is plagued with massive on-site abandonment.

Across all travel content sold online in the Asia-Pacific region, 92% of all bookings were deleted at the checkout stage.

The findings were based on 58 million customer sessions between January 2017 to April 2018 and were part of a wider Ve study into online customer journeys in the APAC travel industry.

Asia’s travel agents are the big losers when travellers browse their sites. A massive 95.5% of their potential customers abandon their online bookings before the payment stage, leaving travel companies with a meagre 4.5% success rate.

A similar although slightly better performance applied to hotels with a 90.4% drop out rate. Airlines suffered a 91.6% dropout rate. Vehicle hire companies suffered an 88.9% failure to convert would-be bookers at the checkout phase.

Companies offering a low-cost service such as coach and ferry rides performed slightly better converting  20.2% of active traffic into real bookings. (Dropout: 79.8%).

Comparisons between countries showed  Australian travel companies turned more browsers into bookers with a relatively low 82% dropout rate, when compared with the Asia-Pacific average.

In contrast, Japanese customers were the hardest to snare with 93.76% leaving their online baskets without completing a sale.

While abandonment still plagues the travel industry, the research did suggest that APAC customers were far more receptive to forms of re-marketing than their global counterparts.

APAC travel companies could expect to recover one online booking for every 18 re-marketing emails sent, compared with the 23 that European companies must send out on average.

The data also revealed customers in APAC complete more online travel bookings using their mobile devices than in any other region globally.

Almost a third (30%) of all travel bookings made in the region were completed using a mobile or tablet device. This compares to 29% of bookings in the United States, 28% in Europe, and just 13% in Latin America.

Ve Global APAC managing director, Jamie Pierre  said: “Increasingly, APAC travel companies are allocating vast sums of their marketing spend to attract customers online, only to lose them during the booking process.

“Although the causes of customer abandonment are varied, travel companies should pay close attention to the growing use of mobile devices in completing bookings and ensure they offer a multi-channel approach.”

(Source: PRnewswire)