Inspiring shopper confidence is make-or-break for travel booking sites, finds Worldpay
Hong Kong, 2nd September 2015 – Nearly 60% of consumers have dropped out of an online travel booking prematurely over the past year, according to a new survey from Worldpay, the global leader in payments. According to 3500 online travel shoppers polled globally, potential travellers want to be reassured that they are in safe hands through every step of the payments process. In fact, 95% say it is important that travel booking sites describe the next stage of the payments process at every turn.
Consumers’ expectations regarding the online booking experience begin with a travel website’s homepage, where they will look to ensure they can pay using their preferred payment method. Nearly 40% of consumers globally would be more likely to book travel with a website that has logos on its homepage indicating that their preferred payment method is accepted.
Potential travellers also want to be reassured about security within seconds of visiting a travel site, with 48% saying they would be more likely to book with an organisation that displays payment authentication and digital certificate logos directly on its homepage. This sentiment is especially high in China, where 72% of shoppers say they feel more secure when payment logos are prominently displayed. Customers in China and India also want transparency around what measures are being taken to protect personal details and payment data, with 60% indicating they’d like travel sites to provide a clear explanation of these security procedures.
Stuart Thornton, VP Business Development in APAC, Global eCommerce, Worldpay, said: “The online payments journey is inextricably linked to the user experience, and booking sites need to make sure these two elements are in sync at every stage of the payments process. Travel sites will struggle to keep potential travellers on board to complete a transaction if they cannot reassure customers that the process will be quick, secure, and managed to the highest standard of professionalism”.
Offering customers flexibility is also crucial for travel sites throughout the payments journey. People expect freedom of choice when it comes to using their local currency and preferred payment type at checkout. Globally, nearly 25% of consumers would end a transaction at checkout if their local currency wasn’t supported. Shoppers in some countries will leave the purchasing journey even sooner. In China and India, more than one in 10 consumers say they wouldn’t even get past the homepage on an international travel site if it was not immediately clear they could pay in their local currency.
Shopper hesitation is particularly strong when they are unexpectedly redirected to a third-party site to enter additional details. When redirected without warning, nearly 60% of shoppers surveyed admit they become concerned and research the new website before deciding whether to proceed with their payment. In China and South Korea nearly 70% of shoppers feel this way, indicating a need for online travel companies to inform shoppers upfront about all of the stages in the payment process to address this apprehension.
Thornton added, “Paying for travel online demands the exchange of personal information and relatively large sums of money, and it’s understandable that consumers will hesitate when unexpectedly asked to share their payment details with a third-party they don’t recognise. Travel sites need to put potential travellers at ease by making the payments process simple and transparent at every turn”.
In the event that shoppers need support from their travel company, they prefer instant human interaction either over the phone or via online chat. Nearly half of consumers (48%) would prefer to speak with a representative on the phone to address an issue, while 40% said they would like the option to do so by live web chat. Chinese shoppers are especially keen on receiving customer service by live chat with 63% listing it as their preferred support tool.
When it comes to handling errors, companies should ensure they are always available over the phone for customers, as 25% of online customers would want to be able to call them instantly to clarify the problem. This figure is even higher in India (32%), according to the research.
“The window of time in which online travel sites can address customers’ needs is not large and so the support they offer must be instant and effective, especially if seats are selling fast or a customer is quickly trying to take advantage of a discount price. The way travel sites structure their pricing and promotions creates urgency for customers, so it is naturally incumbent upon them to address urgent requests from the people they serve,” said Thornton.
The research was carried out in partnership with KAE Marketing Intelligence Limited, who conducted a desktop analysis of 250 top travel sites and surveyed 3500 online travel shoppers in 14 countries across North America, South America, EMEA, and APAC. For the full report, visit http://onlinepaymentjourney.worldpay.com/?travel.
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Worldpay is a leading global provider of payment and risk services, processing millions of transactions every day. Worldpay is a unification of seven leading retail payment solutions and offers a range of services including acquiring, gateway, alternative payments, risk management, and mobile payments. Worldpay became an independent company in December 2010.