The modern traveler expects nothing less than a frictionless experience and the travel companies that deliver this have the best chance of thriving in the future.
In fact, it could be said that today’s travelers expect great digital experiences - travelers are savvy navigators of the trends, offers and rewards that shape how, when and where they travel.
They interact with travel brands across multiple channels before booking, but will disengage within seconds if they run up against a cumbersome, obstacle‐strewn online journey.
Some 40% of shoppers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa will leave a website after just a 3‐second delay, according to a 2018 study by eMarketer.
In the US, 55% of travelers said they have abandoned an online purchase because of the hassle of entering payment information, according to a 2018 Accenture study commissioned by Facebook IQ.
The cost to brands of a bad online consumer experience can be profound. Each year in the U.S., abandoned shopping carts cost retailers up to $213 billion of revenue, according to a 2018 study by e-commerce research group Baymard Institute.
In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, loses total some €86 billion every year, according to Baymard.
It’s not just revenue that’s at stake, but customer loyalty.
Some 76% of European consumers say they would switch from a business that doesn’t meet their customer experience expectations, according to a 2017 study of over 8,000 adults from customer communication management company Quadient.
Thinking like a disruptor
In this high‐stakes environment, the companies that do best are those that put online convenience first.
Companies like Amazon and Uber have transformed the consumer landscape by pioneering "zero‐friction" experiences that remove hassle and frustration.
And as consumer grow accustomed to new levels of convenience, their expectations rise across the board - including for travel.
Meeting these ever‐higher standards is a challenge for business. That’s why Facebook is focused on making it as easy as possible.
Our tools are designed to help the travel industry adapt to—and thrive in—the zero‐friction future.
Be clever about discovery like easyJet
Instagram is a major source of travel inspiration. In fact, travel is the number one interest on Instagram globally, according to a 2018 Ipsos survey.
Some 76% of leisure travelers in the US and 82% in the UK use Instagram for travel‐related activities, according to a 2018 Facebook IQ survey.
U.K.-based airline EasyJet cleverly capitalized on this by creating a Look&Book feature that allowed people to take a screenshot of a destination they spotted on Instagram, and upload it to the easyJet app.
The app would determine where the picture was taken, and instantly set up customers with flights and accommodation options.
Make booking easy like French rail company SNCF
Booking is a frequent pain point for customers. Almost half (49%) of 18 to 34‐year‐old French travelers say they wish they could move more seamlessly across sites and apps so they wouldn't have to start their travel planning over each time, according to a 2018 Accenture study commissioned by Facebook IQ.
French railway company SNCF worked to ease online booking by making it possible through Messenger.
Using the app, travelers can chat with a friendly bot that recommends the cheapest fares first and helps them make a purchase.
In the six months following its launch, the bot generated 2,000 reservations per week and was used by 330,000 people.
Transform customer support like KLM
Business depends on customers feeling that they are heard and cared for.
Some 89% of people expect brands to respond within 24 hours, yet nearly 60% of businesses can’t be contacted via social media, according to a 2017 report by global software company SAP Hybris.
Using Messenger, travel companies can instantly alert passengers, streamlining basic customer service needs and allowing travel organizations to be available at all times, in any language.
KLM started using Messenger in 2015. By 2019, the airline was sending 65% of flight updates, 40% of boarding passes and 20% of booking confirmations via messaging apps.
Entice customers with VR previews like MSC Cruises
People increasingly want to test‐drive experiences before they book, to see - literally- what they’re buying.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology can combine the convenience of shopping online with the confidence that comes from experiencing a destination or seeing a hotel room in person.
Global cruise line MSC Cruises has used VR headsets to give passengers insight into the cruise experience before they book. Once onboard, they can use VR to preview excursions.
Start a zero‐friction future now
Customer expectations now live in near‐real time. Delivering on that promise by removing friction from the customer experience is one of the most powerful steps travel businesses can take to prepare for the future.
The Facebook family - from Facebook to Instagram to Messenger - is poised to help the travel industry engage with travelers across the entire journey, from inspiration through to the end of their trip.
By meeting customers where they are and providing a friction‐free experience, travel brands can create deep, long‐lasting connections.
Don’t let friction hold you up.
Zero Friction Future