Ecommerce Trends for the Tourism and Travel Industry | Beyonk Blog
By looking at best-practice in the retail sector, we can gain inspiration for how the tourism industry can adapt, optimise and evolve.
Digital marketeers have long experimented with optimising the conversion rate of prospects viewing products to buying products. There are a myriad of ways to improve the conversion rate of people buying through websites. The more organisations can de-risk a purchase in a consumer’s eyes, the higher the conversion rate.
Equally, the more we can personalise the experience to make their shopping experience suit their tastes, the higher the conversion rate too. By looking at best-practice in the retail sector, we can gain inspiration for how the tourism industry can adapt, optimise and evolve.
Personalising the shopping experience
Warby Parker has a phenomenal growth story. Entering a crowded glasses market competing with major brands like Ray-Ban was a bold move. Their success has come about by having an excellent product and a strong buying experience. Through personalising the experience and supporting a modern way of helping customers buy, they’ve managed to exceed a billion dollar company valuation. Warby Parker lets you take a quiz before buying glasses and helps to provide you with personalised recommendations.
Supporting “Try before you Buy”
Consumer expectations for convenience, personalisation and flexibility are growing as leading platforms like Amazon lead the way. The concept of buying clothes, trying them on at home and then sending back for refunds is out-dated. Now, forward-looking retailers are allowing ordering clothes, and paying only for what you keep. It helps by avoiding refund fees, but more importantly, it provides a better customer experience by allowing customers to be flexible with their buying-decisions.
Warby Parker allow you to order 5 glasses and send 4 back, so you can pick and choose the ones you like the most. It’s this buying experience that de-risks the purchase and enables Warby Parker to better connect and convert customers.
A lot of this activity is in the fashion space, but will be used more across hardware, health and fitness and more. Simba the mattress provider offers 200 night trials. Buying a mattress is a big decision. Often they can cost hundreds, to thousands of dollars. By offering a “try before you buy” they’re able to provide comfort to customers that they aren’t locked into the product. The reality for Simba is they know their product is of premium quality and sending a mattress back is a challenge for the consumer, so the return rate expected can be lower than an easier product to return.
What this means Tourism and Travel Booking Online?
In the tourism market, we can learn a lot from these retail examples. The easiest insight we can extrapolate is that we can offer quizzes to help customers build itineraries or to offer specifically suitable experiences. Whilst it can be harder to envisage how we allow customers to try before they buy, there may be options on the horizon not too far away.
As Augmented and Virtual Reality technology improves and costs of devices reduce, we’re able to offer more immersive experiences where consumers can browse tours or activities to get a feel for the experience before they book.
Right now, you can browse 360 degree tours through Rome and other key tourist destinations to understand whether it’s a destination you’d like to visit. In the future, this will be the way leading tourism organisations help to add trust, manage expectations and help customers book into experiences that suit their needs and get them excited.
They can be seen not just as customer support, but as key marketing tools to show off the best of a destination or an experience to not only convert more customers, but to gather interest too.
Consumer expectations continue to evolve, and those platforms who fail to cater to them will find it harder to compete. Whilst the future of ecommerce trends of flexibility, convenience and personalisation are a high priority, all organisations need to make sure they’re doing the basics right first. It’s easy to get carried away with forward-looking innovative opportunities, but we all need to make sure we’re focusing on the basics of selling tickets online first.