Understanding the Buyer’s Journey
It’s no secret that the travel industry experiences high cart abandonment rates, but it’s important to understand why this is so damaging for travel companies, and how it can be tackled using CRM software and omni-channel marketing strategies.
Why is cart abandonment so damaging for travel companies?
The travel industry is a highly competitive sector, with incredibly low conversion rates. It’s these low conversion rates that are so detrimental to the industry, a massive 81.7% of bookings are discarded before they can be completed. This is a huge loss of potential transactions and means that travel companies have to work incredibly hard to convince customers to make a purchase, which isn’t always an easy job.
Booking a holiday is no small purchase, customers often browse, research and compare prices from different companies before they make a final decision. So, when someone abandons their basket on your site, it’s likely that they are choosing to book their holiday with one of your competitors.
Following on from this, the travel industry at most, usually only attracts visits from individual consumers a handful of times a year. Making it all too crucial to ensure that your customers do make a purchase with you, rather than one of your competitors.
If these factors weren’t damaging enough, the Covid-19 Pandemic has caused a whole host of issues. In 2020, it was predicted that the travel industry would generate $712 billion in revenue worldwide, but instead revenue in 2020 decreased by 34.7%. With so many complicated restrictions on travel, consumers have lost their confidence in booking holidays, trying to rebuild this confidence whilst also trying to improve conversion rates is a mammoth challenge for the industry to tackle.
How can CRM help with this?
There are a number of ways that a CRM platform can help the travel industry to build their consumers confidence and improve conversion rates.
It is currently impossible for travel agencies to predict what will come next in terms of travel. With so many restrictions caused by the pandemic, it’s an uncertain time for all working within the travel industry. As well as an uncertain time for consumers who are unsure on whether or not to book holidays, in case they get cancelled and they lose out on their money. Despite all the insecurity surrounding the sector at the moment, travel companies can begin to implement strategies that will build their audiences confidence in travel again.
One way that they could be achieving this, is through omni-channel marketing. Statistics suggest that 70% of people research holidays on their smart phones, however, this only results in a conversion rate of 0.7%. An omni-channel marketing strategy would enable customers to pick up where they left off, no matter what device they are using. This will ensure an uninterrupted and effortless booking experience. Smooth, efficient customer service will help to build up the trust of your customers, if they are satisfied with the service they receive, whether that be online, over the phone, or in-store, then they will feel that they are in safe hands, as is their money and their wish to go on holiday.
There is research to suggest that the travel agencies who offer their audience a ‘one stop shop’ are expected to own 41% of the digital market in the coming years, therefore highlighting the importance of having an omni -channel marketing strategy that will enable you to keep up with your competitors. CRM platforms act as large customer databases in which you can use to manage your communications with your audience from. Being able to manage all of your communications in one place makes it so much easier to ensure good, efficient customer service. The better your multi-channel marketing is, the better your customers experience will be with your brand.
Now that we’ve looked at how to build the consumers trust in the travel industry, we can move towards looking at how to increase conversion rates through retargeting.
If you’re unfamiliar with retargeting as a marketing technique, it involves sending information relating to your products/services to a website visitor who has left your site without making a purchase. Retargeting can be achieved through a number of different platforms; in this case we’ll be discussing it in relation to email campaigns.
Retargeting can be an incredibly effective method when it comes to converting customers. It’s a process that can easily be personalised to each individual customer. Imagine a customer has viewed hotels in Dublin on your website, but leaves the site without booking a stay, by sending them an email with the details relating to the hotels that they viewed, you are retargeting them in a personalised manner. Through sending out this communication, you will prompt them to revisit your site, potentially leading them to book a holiday through you. You could even consider including promotional offers in the email, this added incentive may just help to improve your conversion rates.
Now, you may be wondering how on earth you can keep track of all of your website visitors, what searches they make and how you can email all of those who abandon their baskets. This is where CRM software comes in.
One way you can use CRM platforms to retarget your customers is to create a ‘Abandoned basket’ customer journey. This could be triggered when a customer adds a purchase to their basket, but leaves the site before they check out, resulting in email communications to be sent out, with the aim of persuading them to complete their purchase. A key element of this is ensuring that you create an email that will grab their attention, this can process can be made much smoother through using an email builder. At Intilery, our platform features both a Customer Journey Manager and an easy-to-use email builder, enabling you to design beautiful campaign assets and flowing, automated customer journeys.
What is important to remember is that retargeting should not be viewed as an ‘add on’ marketing tactic, but rather it should be a well-considered, carefully designed strategy that forms a large part of your marketing plan.
It’s important to remember that change won’t happen overnight, but through implementing CRM technology into your marketing strategy, you’ll be putting yourself one step ahead of many of your competitors. Take a look out our case studies and see how other travel firms have used Intilery’s platform to increase customer databases and revenue.