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A confusing or frustrating travel reservation system can result in abandoned carts and lost sales. In a new handbook, “Travel and Tourism: Gaining Customer Insights Before You Lose the Reservation,” Acoustic reveals how eliminating friction within the reservation system is the key to building customer trust and increasing conversion rates.

This sponsored content was created in collaboration with a Skift partner.

The cart abandonment rate for the travel industry is higher than average, at 87 percent — perhaps because 40 percent of travelers report slow or confusing user experiences on travel websites. Friction within the reservation system not only results in inconvenience and frustration for users, but it can also cause them to abandon their carts altogether.

With most travel experiences booked online, a digital customer journey that is intuitive, personalized, and seamless is now table stakes. Travel and tourism providers must ensure a consistent, easy-to-navigate online experience, whether on a laptop, tablet, app, or smartphone. Identifying and solving points of friction in the booking process is critical to building trust with travelers and increasing conversions.

“Customer expectations continue to evolve toward faster, easier, and more intuitive digital experiences,” said Daniel Pruitt, senior solution engineer at Acoustic. “Those companies that can’t keep up are going to lose to those that can. When deciding who you are booking with is as easy as clicking a push notification or opening a new tab in your browser, it’s imperative that your customers have a seamless experience across the digital touchpoints they have with your brand.”

This report from Acoustic explores the most common reasons why potential customers choose to abandon travel properties before locking in their reservations. Travelers have shown they will shop somewhere else when faced with a confusing or antiquated travel reservation system, whether that means encountering a cluttered marketing page or trying to purchase a product or service that is shown but no longer available. The average bounce rate from a desktop Google search for travel websites is 36 percent — a number that rises to nearly 48 percent when the search is conducted on a mobile device.

The good news is that automated, deep, digital experience insights powered by zero- and first-party consumer data can empower travel companies to improve customers’ digital experiences in tandem with lowering bounce rates and deepening engagement. By assessing which content, user experience, and backend architecture are driving conversions and engagement and which aren’t, you can simultaneously optimize and orchestrate the digital customer journey.

“In the 14-plus years that I have been in CX and have worked with travel and tourism providers, I have repeatedly seen how the right tool can help dramatically improve a customers’ experience, increase conversion rates, and streamline the user experience,” Pruitt said. “Leveraging digital experience insights can help providers understand not only what is happening on their site, but why. By connecting these insights to marketing engagements, providers can create a closed loop between the content they share and the actions taken across their owned properties. This is critical for increasing bookings in the travel and tourism industry.”

In this report, you’ll find:

  • Travel-related cart abandonment data
  • The reasons why consumers are frustrated with travel companies’ digital products
  • Tips for identifying friction points in your customer experience
  • How to better serve customers, from initial booking to outstanding reviews after the trip
  • Why investing in the user experience and digital optimization is the best way to earn consumer trust

This content was created collaboratively by Acoustic and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.

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Tags: customer experience, online travel newsletter, SkiftX Showcase: Technology, travel booking, travel technology

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