The vast majority of consumers in the Asia Pacific region are abandoning their online travel bookings at the checkout stage, despite the region leading the world in making online bookings on mobile devices.
Analysis of 58 million customer sessions, carried out by marketing company Ve Global over a 16-month period, found that 92% of all bookings in the APAC region were abandoned at checkout.
APAC’s online travel agencies saw the highest rate of booking abandonment at 95.5%, while the figures were only slightly better for direct channels: hotels (90.4%), airlines (91.6%) and vehicle hire companies (88.9%).
The travel sectors to see the best conversion rates were coach and ferry operators who managed to convert 20.2% of their active traffic into bookings.
Australian travel firms were the most successful in the region at converting online browsers into bookers with an abandonment rate of 82%. But companies in Japan had the highest online abandonment rate of 93.8%.
Jamie Pierre, managing director at Ve Global, APAC, says:
“Increasingly, APAC travel companies are allocating vast sums of their marketing spend to attracting customers online, only to lose them during the booking process.
“Although the causes of customer abandonment are varied, travel companies should pay close attention to the growing use of mobile devices in completing bookings and ensure they offer a multi-channel approach that meets the growing expectations of consumers.”
More encouragingly for companies in Asia Pacific was the comparatively higher rate of online bookings recovered through remarketing emails with one booking recovered from every 18 remarketing emails sent to customers. This compared with a rate of one booking for every 23 emails in Europe.
David Marrinan-Hayes, Ve Global’s CEO, adds:
“Despite tenacious customer abandonment rates, there’s a massive opportunity to capitalise on potential bookers already showing a high level of buying intent through effective remarketing.”
The data study also revealed higher rates of online booking on mobile in APAC with 30% of all travel bookings made through a mobile or tablet device. This was ahead of the US (29%), Europe (28%) and Latin America (13%).
Pierre talks about the findings here:
As China's travellers opt for customized trips, AccorHotels looks to personalise for millions of Ctrip users
What you need to know about where and how Chinese tourists spend their money