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Conversion Optimisation Tips for Your Travel Booking Journey

4 Apr 2023
Victoria Wallace

Today, when it comes to booking a trip, consumers have hundreds and thousands of offers to consider from a host of online travel agencies, airlines, hotel websites, car rental companies, and of course, airports. While choice is great for consumers, it puts airports under significant pressure to show consumers the added value they bring regarding an end-to-end travel booking journey.

Having an airport website and offering online bookings at attractive prices is not enough. To win those valuable bookings, airports must focus on conversion optimisation, which involves honing in on each part of the travel booking journey, ensuring they add value, engage with customers, and leverage every possible revenue opportunity. It’s about creating a seamless and intuitive user experience that makes customers choose your airport over all other options.

Ready to get started? Join us as we share our top conversion optimisation tips to increase conversions and unlock revenue growth at every touchpoint.

The Travel Booking Journey

The primary goal of marketing is to reach customers at the moments that most influence their decisions. These moments are known as touchpoints and are traditionally explained using a funnel diagram. However, with the growing complexity of the customer journey, the explosion of product choices and digital channels, and increasingly discerning, well-informed consumers, the funnel concept no longer captures all the relevant touch points and key buying factors.

The booking journey that can be traced from awareness through purchase to loyalty is now more cyclical, incorporating active evaluation and post-purchase experience. There’s also the decision-making process to consider, and this, described by Google as micro-moments, is specific to the travel industry:

  • I-want-to-get-away moments (dreaming moments)
  • Time-to-make-a-plan moments (planning moments)
  • Let’s-book-it moments (booking moments)

So how does an airport go about increasing conversions? Let’s take a closer look…

I-want-to-get-away moments (dreaming moments)

The first stage of the travel booking journey is the dreaming moments, where a prospective customer is inspired to take a trip. At Rezcomm, we call this the Active Evaluation stage of the Customer Lifecycle, where a prospective customer is comparing offers from various OTAs, airlines and airports and looking for information.

Here, the customer is open-minded and eager to find the best deal. It’s your airport’s mission to grab their attention and guide them to a particular destination by putting out engaging, inspirational content such as travel blog posts, videos and photos showcasing key destinations you serve. This is made easy with our suite of advanced Marketing modules, including:

Social Media Scheduler – Automatically schedule social media posts across your network in just a few clicks to drive visitors to your airport website and landing pages.

Website CMS – Create, edit and publish content on your airport website, blog and marketplace, adding text, images, videos and more with easy tools for non-developers.

Drag & Drop Landing Page Builder – Design fully optimised destination landing pages with clear Call To Action buttons using our state-of-the-art Drag & Drop Landing Page Builder.

At this point, the prospective customer might need more time to book. It could be days, weeks or even months before they convert. So your focus is to drive them to your airport’s optimised landing pages and capture their details and marketing permissions. From there, you can build a passenger persona, deliver relevant email marketing content and offers and nurture your lead. As a result, when the prospective customer is ready to book, they’re already thinking of your airport.

Use Rezcomm’s Data Acquisition Form Builder to simplify the process of collecting customer information and marketing permissions.

Bonus tip – Make sure your airport website is optimised for mobile! According to Google, 60% of searches for destination information take place via mobile, so it’s never been more important to take a mobile-first approach to web design and user experience.

Time-to-make-a-plan moments (planning moments)

Once a consumer decides on a destination, they’ll move onto the planning stage, which involves shopping around for the best deal on flights and accommodation. At this critical part of the travel booking journey, there’s a chance that they might visit your airport website without making a purchase. But all hope is not lost! Remember, they will be comparing your offering with others, so you need to ensure that what you offer is so good that they return to book.

When a visitor lands on your airport homepage or, more likely, one of your landing pages, it’s vital that they can immediately see the information they need. To optimise your airport website for conversions, we recommend the following:

  • Featuring the flights/destinations you want to promote on your homepage
  • Using ‘trending’ or ‘recommended’ sections to promote specific destinations
  • Integrated targeting exit-overlay messaging with relevant time offers to increase awareness
    Delivering interesting & relevant destination content (such as travel guides)
  • Using corner highlight buttons to inspire conversions, incite urgency and provide social proof
Intuitive search functionality

Search functionality is a key element of your airport website. Visitors will reach your website through various channels like search engine results pages, social media, marketing emails and paid ads. It’s essential that, however they get to your website, they can quickly search for the information they need and get relevant results.

Rezcomm’s intuitive Flight Search and Destination Inspiration widgets simplify the search process, save customers’ time, and provide a seamless booking experience.

Inspiring urgency

We touched on it in the bullet points above, but inspiring urgency is a key conversion optimisation technique you should consider using on your airport website. Essentially it’s about inducing FOMO – fear of missing out. Consider pairing current interest and depleting availability to create a highly motivating scarcity element.

This conversion optimisation technique even works on bookings perceived as less desirable. Offers like ‘for 24 hours only’ build the same sense of urgency. Flash sales have become increasingly popular in the travel industry, and everyone wants to feel like they’ve bagged a bargain, so creating a limited-time offer will help to boost conversions. Use overlays, homepage banners and email marketing to make these deals visible.

Building trust with social proof

According to statistics from Condor Ferries, 72% of new customers won’t book until they have spent time reading other travellers’ reviews, and 15% of customers don’t trust a business without reviews. So if you want to improve your conversion rates, it’s time to populate your airport website and landing pages with social proof.

Social proof isn’t just about sharing customer reviews and testimonials. It can also incorporate user-generated content like customers’ travel photos and videos. Just make sure you get their permission to use the content first!

Bonus tip – If you have an underperforming flight route to a destination with good reviews, promote it as a ‘hidden gem’ based on genuine customer feedback. Also, consider offering existing customers discounts or special offers in return for leaving a review on your airport website.

Let’s-book-it moments (booking moments)

You’ve used conversion optimisation tips to successfully move your prospective customer to the booking stage. They’ve weighed up their options and decided to book flights with your airport. But there’s no time to sit back and relax. You could still lose them!

Now is the time to show the value of booking with your airport.

Deliver a seamless booking journey

Google research shows that 94% of leisure travellers switch between devices when planning and booking a trip. In addition, 46% of travellers research destinations on their smartphones and then book on another device. With this in mind, your airport must deliver an omnichannel experience, enabling a customer to start a booking on one device and pick it up on another. A seamless user experience will lead to higher conversion rates.

Rezcomm Marketplace offers an omnichannel ecommerce experience and intuitive booking journey, which enables customers to buy everything they need in a single basket, including an array of travel bookings, reservations and ancillaries. In addition, the intuitive booking journey automatically upsells customers a better product (such as parking closer to the airport) and offers relevant cross-sells throughout – positioning them as helpful recommendations to the customer to increase order value. In turn, the customer feels seen as an individual, looked after and enjoys a personalised shopping experience tailored to their needs.

Rapid checkout

Did you know the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is as high as 69.99%? Common reasons for shoppers abandoning their cart often occur at the checkout process because it is too long and complicated or there’s a requirement to create an account.

Our conversion rate optimisation tip here is to simplify your checkout process. Keep the number of steps customers have to go through to a minimum and offer guest checkout wherever possible. You can still ask for their marketing permission when they enter an email address, enabling you to acquire more of their data and build on your relationship later.

What happens if a customer doesn’t book?

Of course, despite all of your conversion optimisation efforts, some customers still don’t complete the travel booking journey. The good news is that there’s still an opportunity to reach them. Remarketing via paid adverts and email will help drive prospective customers back into the booking journey and encourage them to complete their purchases. The key here is data segmentation so messages can be personalised and targeted. Extract insights from your CRM to ensure you deliver the right message, to the right customer, at the right time and use Rezcomm’s automated Email Sending Service to deliver hyper-personalised emails at scale.

Beyond the travel booking journey

Converting visitors into bookings is just one part of the bigger picture. It’s vital to continue engaging with and supporting customers using email and SMS marketing post-purchase to build trust and loyalty. Send reminders, provide informative travel guides and help them prepare for their trip with suggestions of products they might have forgotten. And don’t forget to link them into your loyalty programme to encourage repeat bookings with personalised rewards. The idea is that customers return to book with your airport repeatedly. One conversion can lead to a lifelong customer and brand advocate.

Leverage conversion optimisation opportunities at every touchpoint with Rezcomm. Benefit from a seamless, omnichannel marketplace from world-leading tech creators and plug in our marketing modules to scale up your strategy for rapid, revenue-boosting results. Download our brochure and book a meeting with our team to learn more about our complete solution for airports.