The Customer Journey in Travel - UK - May 2015
Domestic UK holidays have fallen 7% over the last five years and this is expected to descend further. Over the next five years, Mintel expects a continued rise in overseas holidays coupled with a dip in domestic trips. Outbound trips are forecast to rise by around 3% in 2015 and should continue to rise steadily.
This report looks at the following areas:
- Offering more multi-functional services for the customer journey
- Smartphones show untapped potential for the customer journey
- Bricks and mortar travel agents must reach out and embrace technology
The majority of travellers said their journey started on a laptop or desktop. Despite smartphones’ near ubiquity, they are not popular holiday research tools – not many said that a smartphone was their first port of call for researching, and just 1 in ten overall use one in the research process.
With the continued use of search engines as the main port of call for travel research, search engine optimisation (SEO) is key for any business looking to generate traffic to their website. This will be crucial in building brand awareness among Millennials, especially for travel companies’ own websites and price comparison sites which are mostly favoured by the older generations.
Efforts still need to be made to make the booking process on mobile devices more streamlined as this opens up an opportunity to reach consumers on the go, as well as using their data to provide relevant targeted advertisements and offers. Just under half of consumers agree they would be willing to share information about their previous holiday/preferences with travel companies in exchange for personalised recommendations.
Just over half said they would be happy for a company to contact them to get feedback on their holiday experiences. Despite concerns about online security and privacy, a large proportion of consumers clearly understand the benefits of sharing their information with companies, indicating that this can be a transparent and co-operative process in which companies could give people a more active role.
This report will map the customer journey from the various starting points to the various finishing points in the holiday research and booking process. Its aim is to better understand how brands need to communicate with customers at different stages of their journey. It will analyse consumer behaviour and preferences in the holiday market and relate them to what is happening in the broader industry, with the aim of identifying where things are going next and where opportunities for growth lie.
It will cover key developments in the macroeconomic environment as well as technological innovations within the travel industry.
It will review the starting points and other research sources used by different types of holidaymakers, looking at sources used to book, websites and apps used and lead times in the process. It will also examine attitudes towards the research and booking process in an effort to understand customer preferences and identify opportunities.
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