Why do people abandon online travel bookings?

Much research has been done into why people abandon shopping carts but little exists about why people abandon online travel bookings. Salecycle has rectified this with a survey of 1,000 Internet users across several countries including the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

With 81% of people abandoning online travel bookings, Salecycle wanted to pinpoint at which point in the process they abandon and the reasons for doing so.

The top reason for online travel booking abandonment was that people were “just looking” and still in the midst of researching their travel requirements (39%).

“This trend is common in shopping cart abandonment too, with consumers using the basket page as a way of creating ‘wish lists’ and building up an idea of what their dream purchase would be,” writes Joanne Liu, Marketing Manager APJ at Salecycle.

Other reasons for abandonment include high prices and the desire to compare prices (37%), the need to check with other members of the travel party (21%), a booking process that is too complicated or too long (13%), technical issues such as a lost connection (9%) and a lack of payment options or payment issues (7%).

The point at which most people abandon is when faced with the price (53%) while just over a quarter (26%) abandon when asked for personal details or payment details (21%). However, indicative of the ‘not quite ready’ reason for abandonment is the finding that a significant number (87%) would consider returning to the booking, most within 24 hours (46%) and 43% within a week.

Of course, as a marketer, you’ll want to re-engage those who have gone some way to checking out bookings on your website and an abandonment email is one way you can restart the conversation.

Salecycle has a list of 10 top tips for creating the most effective booking abandonment emails and includes gems such as ensuring email contains details of the abandoned basket, getting emotional responses by including relevant imagery and making sure emails are mobile-friendly.

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