Travel industry user experience report 2014

In a preliminary survey of over 500 British travel buyers, we found that 85% prefer to book their holidays online. Of these, 60% have eventually given up and abandoned their purchase and 79% have switched to a different travel provider due to challenges in the user journey.

In response we conducted an expert review benchmarking 8 different travel providers on their digital customer experience.

The travel provider’s websites and mobile apps were assessed against the set of eight user experience heuristics. The heuristics were chosen to assess how the different travel brands are delivering customer experience for the specific user journey of booking holiday travel or accommodation…

The user journey

  • Step 1: Discovery & inspiration
    • Researching travel: Help your customers make great plans
    • Recommendations & reviews: Help customers find their ideal destination
    • Social channels: Support brand-to-customer & customer-to-customer interactions
  • Step 2: Making a decision
    • Product details: Give customers as much information as they need, when they need it
    • Email marketing: Effectively promote your brand
    • Brand experience: Ensure complete consistency
  • Step 3: Booking
    • Site usability: Make it as easy and engaging as possible
    • Booking: Make it as painless as possible

Against each of the above 8 heuristics, the travel providers were assigned a score and ranked in a travel user experience index.

Findings

Airbnb ranked first overall due their exceptional website usability, simple booking processes and research options. Whereas traditional travel provider Thomas Cook came last due to the lack of brand interaction, poor use of email marketing and confusing booking processes. Other travel providers evaluated include Hotels.com, Virgin Atlantic, TripAdvisor, lastminute.com, Expedia, easyJet and Kuoni.

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