One thing science has proved beyond a doubt: the anticipation of making a purchase is as stimulating to the human brain as making the purchase itself. For shoppers who are looking online for a specific item or service, the search itself is enjoyable, and the purchase – the conversion – just adds to the pleasure.
If you want to improve the conversion rates for your travel or hospitality website, pay attention to these popular digital trends to ensure your potential customers enjoy their time perusing your site as much as they enjoy making a booking or purchase.
Technology is constantly evolving the way marketers understand and respond to consumers. Previously, data collection (rather than responding directly to customers’ needs and wants) was more often the goal of the marketing strategy. In contrast, tomorrow’s trends build on what psychologists know is true: entice visitors to your site, entrance them while they are there, and you will be more likely to add them to your customer list.
In the travel, hospitality and leisure sectors, these marketing trends are gaining speed:
Optimize for improved website exploration: Did you know that website exploration encourages more conversions? In a recent study, researchers learned that travel and leisure consumers who contacted merchants after moving beyond a website's entrance page were 90 percent more likely to make a purchase than those who reached out during their initial, entrance-page view.
Here’s the theory behind the statistic: shoppers liked what they found on the first page and were encouraged by its content to explore the site further. Additionally, easy-to-find contact information – phone numbers, email addresses, chatbots, etc. – located on every page gave consumers instant access to even more of the information they were seeking.
Wow them with the unexpected: Users on travel websites love to dream. There is a growing focus on unconventional destinations when users browsing travel sites, which should therefore provide them with the opportunity to view locations, packages, and experiences that they've never considered before.
Since 70 percent of users shop for travel services online, your website is the most important vehicle for you to introduce them to new travel adventures. Ensure that your landing page and content highlights these “roads less traveled” and includes links to both dedicated pages and your sales department.
Find creative ways to compete with alternative accommodations:
Travel websites are very familiar with this challenge. Sites like Airbnb and VRBO are competitive, in particular, because they offer one-of-a-kind settings often at reasonable prices, with the added bonus of “living like a local” that many travelers want. You’re not just getting a place to stay, you’re getting an “experience.” Even many users who have traditionally preferred hotels are moving away from familiar chains and seeking out boutique lodgings that provide character (as well as a cozy bed). If you add pages to your website that highlight these “off-the-beaten-path” options, you're adding even more value to your visitor's already growing excitement and capitalizing on this growing trend.
Include in-destination activities to the travel planning experience
For many travelers, just getting to and from their destination isn’t the end of the planning phase; they want to create a unique, unoforgettable experience that they will remember forever. Once you’re aware of the psychology of your users’ wants and needs, you can then build out your site with pages and content dedicated that highlight the adventures or experiences for any given location, whether your users want to dine in a Michelin-starred restaurant, go parasailing, or ride an elephant.
The takeaway: When your homepage and key converting landing pages entice your users to dream and explore new destinations, exciting forms of accommodation, and unexpected adventures, your browsing-to-booking conversion rate should skyrocket!