The globalisation of online travel has meant that consumers are happy to book on websites that are not based in the country.
Whilst there is a element of trust needed that the user experience is going to chime with their existing browsing behaviour, there are far bigger concerns to manage when it comes to the payment process.
For example, a poll of 3,500 consumers worldwide found that almost 25% would end a transaction at checkout if their local currency isn't supported for payments to a travel website.
Furthermore, one in ten travellers in India and China wouldn't even get past the homepage of a travel brand if it was not immediately clear on the homepage that they could pay in Rupees or the Yuan.
Reassurance appears to be one of the most important elements when websites are designed and payments are taken into consideration.
Nearly two out of five consumers would be more likely to book a travel product if the website simply displayed the logos of the payment methods on its homepage.
This figure rises to almost half (48%) if a homepage shows the authentication and/or digital certificate icons.
Chinese travellers (remember: tipped to be the highest outbound travel market on the planet with a few years) need even more hand-holding, with almost three-quarters needing the comfort of knowing the identity of the payment options.
Some 48% of those surveyed claim they would prefer to speak with a sales representative of on the telephone when things go wrong, although 40% say they wouldn't mind using a web chat facility (a figure that rises to 63% for Chinese travellers).
So what should companies do about buttoning up their website to ensure concerns over payments are eased?
A seven-step tip-sheet is as follows:
- Homepage - This is the first page a user lands on when they reach your website. Have you thought about which payment information should be included here?
- Shopping basket - This is the stage at which your customer adds an item or booking to their basket. Are you displaying prices in the right currencies?
- User profile - This is the stage at which a customer can set up a profile or account on your site, and save their details for next time. Have you thought about which details you are asking customers for? Have you explained your data security measures?
- Payment page - This is the page where your customer enters their payment details. Have you considered what your customer expects to see on the payment page? Are you using the best layout and displaying the right information?
- Error handling - This is how you manage transaction errors on your website. Are you showing error messages that are clear and concise?
- Confirmation - This is the message that you send out to your customer after they make a payment on your website. Have you thought about which information you need to include?
- Support - This stage refers to any point at which the customer might have a payment-related question. Do you know which support tools your customer would prefer to use?
A recent investigation
found that almost two out of five mobile shoppers have abandoned a travel booking on a mobile device due to poor user experience.
The company found that usability is one of the core problems facing consumers, with one third reporting apps or mobile sites being slow to load.
Navigation and payment process (26% and 27%) also featured strongly in the list of reasons for abandonment, with screen size blamed by 21%.
The study was conducted by payment technology provider Worldpay with consumers who have used a combined 250 travel sites.
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