What makes travel website users come back?

February 16, 2007

So what is it that can build loyalty with our customers and get them coming back over and over again to our travel websites (if not to book then at least to research with the possibility of turning them into a booker in the future)? Is it having the best designed website with loads of aspirational imagery? Is it having loads of Web 2.0 features and and user generated content widgets? Is it having the biggest range of ways to book your travel (dynamic packaging, component packaging, component only, package, tour etc)? Actually, it appears it’s much simpler than that!

A new survey from PhocusWright and Burst Media shows that the key features of a travel website that will make a user become a repeat visitor are:

  • Having the ability to check rates and book online
  • Having access to good quality destination content
  • Having a good range of clearly priced and regularly updated offers and promotions

Here’s the list:

How’s that for common sense? The most basic features of a bookable travel website are still the most important as far as the user is concerned. So to all those travel websites who are branching out into adding in flashy Web 2.0 features I say; get the basics right first! Work on your bookability and usability; make it easy for a user to find a price and compare that with other products, and then make it easy for them to continue and book their chosen product. Give the user really good, informative destination content; this saves them having to go elsewhere and makes it more likely they will come to you for their research. Get your offers online regularly, make them clearly priced (a price the user can actually book if they want to), make them tempting and as good as (if not better) than anyone elses.

Of course I would add one more technicality that will help ensure these three things keep people coming back… Get the architecture right! Make it easy for users to find this content, don’t funnel them down a journey they can’t find their way out of, navigation is still king!

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One Response to “What makes travel website users come back?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    The fundamentals will always rule.


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