How to beat seasonality in the travel industry?
The problem of stimulating business in the low season has existed just as long as the tourism business itself. How to get clients out of the house and put them on the plane when bad weather rages outside? On the other hand, the high season is sometimes also not a gift at all. Potential customers flit from site to site in search of the best deals. Often, having already chosen a product and putting it in a virtual basket, the traveler breaks down to find a more profitable bait. Therefore, maintaining the conversion of sites at a decent level during the high season can be no less difficult than enticing clients during a three-boom recession. What to do? Ecommpay Moscow CEO Andrei Moryakov reports.
Overcome pessimism and boost summer conversion
There is a whole set of useful tips and tricks that tour operators can adopt. Today, the “bouncerate” (bounce rate) of travel companies’ sites exceeds 80%. Such a serious figure suggests that the problem lies not so much in the fastidiousness of travelers, but also in the design and intricacy of websites.
According to statistics, 21% of those who fill the basket and then leave the page behave in this way precisely because of problems with the travel company’s website. In high season it is very important to provide for a potential client easy and smooth “surfing” on the tour operator’s page up to the payment confirmation. This means that the site should be provided with an intuitive interface and navigation, as well as clear error messages when entering information. The path from point A “Add to cart” to point B “Place an order” should not cause any negative emotions in the client. Any delays in the process of placing an order hamper the process of income generation by your company. From whatever device the client tried to purchase the tour, the payment process should not resemble walking around a maze without a navigator. To save client time and at the same time increase the conversion on your site, you need to develop a system that minimizes the likelihood of entering incorrect data. If such information does appear, the system should quickly and easily explain how to correct the situation.
Another, less significant, but still important factor in maintaining conversion at a high level is the ability to accept online payments in various ways. About 7% of online shoppers drop the basket, reaching the payment stage and finding out that payment cannot be made in their preferred way. With the increase in the flow of tourists from Asian countries, the task of expanding payment options and going beyond the traditional Visa and Mastercard from year to year is becoming increasingly important. The few sites that provide the ability to make payments through systems such as AliPay or UnionPay, in addition to traditional card payments, are a priori guaranteed a greater number of visitors.
Winter has come – customers are gone
As for the low season, the good news is that it is no longer as low as it used to be. For example, data from last year indicate that more and more young travelers choose the time for holidays in winter. Of course, in the rainy and cold season, it will not be possible to attract as many clients as in the summer, but still it is necessary to work on earning income. Efforts here should focus on automating all possible business processes and introducing new marketing solutions. Set before your best specialists the task of waking up and maintaining the interest of potential tourists, assign them to segment the client base to form more targeted offers, think about what operations on the site should be automated. A productive move can be to conduct games or lotteries in social networks, as well as seasonal marketing, targeted at specific groups of consumers. To prepare this kind of proposal, you need to know your client. Based on this knowledge, you will be able to create an offer that will not only attract a person once, but also make him apply to your company when the next vacation comes.
A significant role in automating business processes is played by partnership with a payment provider. Many representatives of the travel industry, especially hotels, still rely on manual data entry by employees who have to check payment details for each client, calculating unscrupulous customers. So a huge amount of resources is being spent, which can be avoided.