6 ways to reduce abandoned bookings on your travel site

We’ve all designed our dream holiday and added it to the shopping cart, just to see how much it will cost, then discarded it straight afterwards. But not all abandoned bookings are discarded for the same reason.

Booking abandonment can be particularly high on travel sites for several reasons, but there are many ways that online travel agents can tackle this, reducing the number of abandoned bookings and converting them into paying customers…

Make your website responsive across all devices

From blogs and announcements to deals and packages, websites are a great platform to share information with an audience.

But a truly engaging website that customers will enjoy using (and not find annoying) must adapt and respond to different devices and screen sizes, including smartphones, tablets and of course, desktop.

If a customer visits a site and finds a distorted homepage that’s impossible to navigate, they are not likely to stick around for long. Irresponsive websites pave the road to hell!

Having a responsive website, however, accommodates different customer groups and enhances user experience for all online visitors, which reduces the number of abandoned bookings and ultimately prevents loss of revenue.

Eliminate nasty surprises

Reasonably, customers like to have all their booking information laid out in front of them before making a travel decision. Hidden costs cropping up throughout the booking process will result in lack of brand trust and lost bookings.

Reduce the amount of abandoned bookings on your site by clearly and consistently stating prices throughout each stage of the booking process. No one likes a nasty surprise – especially on the topic of money!

Make the check-out process shorter than human patience

Like most mammals, humans can be impatient and consumers are known to desert bookings if the check-out process is too long.

Most people spend a lot of time searching for the right holiday package, with budgets and other travel needs to consider, and the check-out process is expected to be the fastest and easiest stage of the booking.

Shorten the process to just a few simple and straightforward steps to avoid abandoned bookings.

Don’t push customers into creating an account

Wouldn’t business be simple if prospective customers were happy to share their personal information and contact details, creating future sales and marketing opportunities for travel agents? Sadly, that isn’t always the case.

Some consumers don’t mind creating an account, while others are afraid of being bombarded with emails and find the data-collecting technique intrusive.

Creating an account whilst checking out should be optional to avoid irritating customers, causing them to ditch their booking. Ask yourself: is prospective customer data worth more than confirmed bookings?

Let customers know you’re there to help at every stage of the process

Thousands and thousands of travel sites operate on the web, and unfortunately, not all of them are trustworthy. Customers need to feel assured that their details are being handled by a reputable travel service that they can contact at any time.

By placing a contact telephone number and email address in clear view on each page of your site, customers are more likely to confirm a booking with peace of mind that their information is protected and in good hands.

Make sure your website has lots of helpful information

Customers choose specific destinations for different reasons – some for local cuisine and tourist attractions and others for family fun and sports activities, to name a few.

Offer descriptions of each destination and suggest nearby amenities that the customer might find interesting. The more information available on your site, the less likely the customer is to leave and search for it elsewhere.

Even though some abandoned bookings cannot be avoided, website optimisation is an ongoing task that helps online travel agents reduce booking abandonment.