Booking abandonment rates: a profitable opportunity. The British scenario.

According to a SaleCycle survey, 86% of people travelling typically decide to research and book online. Notwithstanding, the Travel & Tourism industry loses billions worth of bookings due to customer abandonment, even though some customers state they are opened to book later.  The Travel & Tourism industry players spend effort and money to drive their customers on their websites in order to book, and may lose a incredible potential in bookings leaks.

In the “Abandonment & Re-engagement Benchmark Report”, Ve Interactive, a Tech & Data company based in London (UK), analyses the Travel UK market – travel agents, airlines, experience events, ferries and hotels – during 2015, looking at the customers’ behaviour when they decide to book online but then they abandon the process, providing strategies to re-engage them. According to the study, a re-engagement strategy is the key to take advantage of the profitable potential represented by abandoned booking processes.

In 2015, the abandonment rate was 81%, which means that 81 people out of 100 did not complete their online booking even if they were interested in it at the beginning. According to the SaleCycle survey, 39% of people abandon a company website mid-booking because they were actually just looking for information. A further 37% because they want to do more research. Other relevant reasons are complex booking processes (13%) or online payment issues (7%). However, the interesting data is that 87% of potential customers would consider returning to the abandoned booking, 43% within one week and 33% on the same day of the abandonment. The moments when people abandon their booking are when they see the final price (53%), or when they are asked to provide personal details (26%) or payment details (21%).

According to 4Hotliers, in the hotel field one concrete option to recover abandoned bookings is email retargeting. Email retargeting consists in sending the customers an email to ask them if they are ready to complete their booking. According to Net Affinity, an hotel booking engine provider, the average conversion rate is 16%. In order to achieve that, a company needs to capture their email address as soon as possible in the booking process.

Ve Interactive report states that successful re-engagements can happen onsite in the exact abandonment moment, if the right tools are used.

At Twissen we observed that planning a right re-engagement strategy and using the right tech tools can be very useful in order to exploit the abandonment booking rates and enhance conversion.