Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Monday, March 5, 2018

Online abandonment rates for travel 'soar'

Travel customers across Europe are now more hesitant to commit to an online booking than this time last year, new research shows.

Marketing technology company Ve Global has analysed behavioural trends from hundreds of thousands of online travel sessions and says website abandonment rates are 'soaring'.

Booking abandonment online, where users begin but fail to complete a purchase, stood at 92.8% in the second half of 2017, up from 85% in 2016.

Hotels (97.7%) and airlines (94.6%) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) were the hardest hit, with travel agents also suffering from tip-toeing window shoppers, losing 97.4% of online bookings during the checkout process across Europe.

Irish companies performed the best in turning browsers into bookers with an abandonment rate of just 89.3%, with UK travellers almost as keen to seal their bookings (90.6%).

There was better news for the more low-cost travel options, with coach and ferry converting 15% of online traffic into bookings.

The data also found that customers using desktop were more likely to convert than those on mobile once the booking process had begun.

One in 10 who started the process on desktop or laptop converted compared to just one booking for every 20 checkout sessions on mobile, and in 6.6% of cases on a tablet device.

Morten Tonnesen, CEO at Ve, said: "While the entire industry continues to invest heavily in digital, this data clearly shows that consumers in every subsector of travel are spending more time browsing their options before committing to a purchase.

"This represents a considerable worry for travel companies allocating vast sums of their marketing spend to the digital ad space in order to attract people to their websites, only to lose them in the booking process."

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