Reducing friction matters: Key factors that reduce traveller friction

Expedia Group and business strategy firm Magid has found that travellers want a seamless travel experience — to quickly and effectively handle any challenge during their travels.

Removing travel friction requires a deep understanding of customer pain points and Expedia Group’s Innovation Lab tests new products continuously — leveraging advanced technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning, eye tracking and face reader technology — to understand travellers’ focus on a web page and the emotions they experience while booking travel.

These tests recently uncovered the attributes travellers value the most which provide an easy-to-use or frictionless online booking experience. Friction reduction occurs through the creation of extensive end-to-end user experience research, highly-efficient coordinated processes, iterative product development, and obsession with customer and partner centricity.

The Online Travel Friction Index research identified key factors that reduce traveller friction through a ‘friction reduction index’; a weighted average numerical score rating over 15 experience attributes that nearly 850 online travel users, ages 18-55, used to rate their experiences related to research, shopping and booking of travel products on various travel websites.

Results from this research identified the top five most impactful friction reduction attributes as:

  • An easily navigable booking website
  • Inventory that is the best value
  • Ability to filter and sort a specific room type
  • Option to redeem special offers
  • Ability to quickly filter and sort specific hotel location criteria

Expedia Group brands consistently ranked higher in all five areas than other OTAs or branded chain sites that were included in the research. Expedia Group is also rated at least as well as, if not significantly higher than hotel direct booking sites on every attribute in the ‘friction reduction’ index.

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