New research by Bain for Google provides some insights into how consumers around the world are researching, planning and booking travel online.
Some interesting numbers:
The average traveler spends 13% of online time conducting travel-related activities.
Factors that people say inspire them to book trips:
- They're regularly thinking about trips they want to take (17%)
- Have wanted to take a trip to a particular destination for some time (16%)
- Believe they're due a vacation (16%)
- Want to visit a friend or relative (8%)
- To celebrate a special event (7%)
- Saw a special offer or discount for travel to a destination (7%)
Reasons people say they didn't book a trip online when they intended to:
- Trip didn't meet their needs (47%)
- Price too high (26%)
Takeaways for travel suppliers:
- For those people regularly thinking about taking a trip somewhere, or having pent-up demand for a visit to your destination: have your marketing on 24/7/365.
- For people who believe they're due a vacation: encourage them in this as McDonald's did: "You deserve a break today!"
- For destinations with a significant diaspora (think Ireland, India, State of Maine): geotarget the places where these people are with ads inviting them to Come Home.
- For people wanting to celebrate a special event: be mindful of when people do this (weddings in June, shopping in December, Lunar New Year, etc.) and promote whatever connection you have to these dates or occasions.
- For bargain-hunters: don't routinely discount just to undersell competitors, but remember that travel products (airline seats, hotel rooms, event tickets) are absolutely perishable. Take a cue from cruise lines and as drop-dead date approaches, start reducing prices until sold out, or at least until you have the sales you need to remain profitable.
- To avoid prospects failing to book after researching your product that they wanted to buy: make sure all your material from ads through landing pages to booking engine is consistent in describing the product: benefits, features, price.
- For people who want to re-research their trip, or who may cancel and re-book, stay close with support and hand-holding to avoid or undo buyer's remorse.