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Published on Friday, May 3, 2019

From Basket to Booking - Combating Online Abandonment Rates


Traveltek's Chief Technical Officer, Kenny Millar, talks about the steps being taken by the travel software specialist to help businesses combat abandonment rates online.

Abandonment at the basket stage is losing the travel industry billions in revenue every year according to marketing technology company, IgnitionOne, who reported a loss of £2.4 billion in hotel bookings alone during the last quarter of 2018.

There are several factors contributing to the low conversion rate online. In particular, issues with consumer trust, price and, notably, poor user experience have been identified. Rates of abandonment as high as 81.5% have been calculated by Salescycle - a company that specialises in online conversion tracking. Comparing this with other sectors, such as fashion, the travel industry does not fare well, with rates as low as 73.5% being achieved.

What's the Answer?

Dynamic packaging (DP) for starters, but there's lots more to be done too. DP in the travel sector has become increasingly popular in recent years; particularly online where it gives customers the freedom to tailor-make their own perfect holiday. That's why, behind the scenes, tech companies operating in this space are working increasingly hard to come up with solutions to help improve the B2C experience for their B2B clients.

One such company is leading dynamic packaging solutions provider, Traveltek. Commenting on what they're doing to help combat abandonment rates, the firm's Chief Technical Officer, Kenny Millar, said: "We're investing heavily in our platform at the moment to ensure we're supplying our clients with a smooth, effective and rapidly implemented user experience designed to meet the needs of their end-users.

"Our NX booking platform deploys reusable and configurable components to create compelling, easy-to-follow and intuitive booking journeys in attractive, modern formats that ensure that the consumer reaches the intended final destination; making a booking. It puts everything our front-end development team needs to construct these sometimes highly complex journeys, in one place.

"On top, we've bolstered our in-house UX team which is also yielding some great results. The team undertakes user-testing on client sites and gathers data in the form of insights and findings which they then use to create new, improved product journey flows. Through this testing they're able to identify weaknesses, as well as opportunities, and this is used to make design updates.

"It doesn't end there either. Once the newly implemented journeys are live, another round of testing, heat mapping and an analysis of Google Analytics is carried out to make sure the site if fully optimised from a UX perspective. The end result is an improved website that's a lot easier to use, maintain and support. Plus, with improved end-user experiences, clients benefit from increased enquiries and bookings too."

Ease of Implementation 

In terms of rapid implementation, Traveltek is going one better. A suite of expertly crafted, default journeys is also being produced. They make use of a library of configurable components that allow for extensive customisation. This means they're able to produce sites that benefit from in-house expertise in slick journey design, coupled with the flexibility to match their client's requirements, much more quickly.

In the last few months the company has been perfecting its cruise user experiences, producing sophisticated yet customisable journeys for cruise only and cruise dynamic packaging. The journey for the company's advanced cruise packaging product, CruisePro, has also been given a high focus and the results are impressive, with consumers able to book complete packages that address their cruise, hotel, transfer and attraction needs in a matter of minutes within a highly visual, information-rich environment.

So, What's Next?

The travel software specialist intends to turn its attention to each of its other travel element booking journeys during 2019. There are overhauls planned for flight and hotel DP, flight only, hotel only, tours, and transfers before the end of the year.

All of which will help travel companies address the challenge of basket abandonment head-on. Providing a smooth, informative, rapid and enjoyable journey helps safeguard conversion rates, ensuring optimisation of revenues by supporting customers in taking the final step in their online journey; from basket to booking.

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