Half of online travel searches end at price screen

More than 50% of online travel searches are abandoned when the shopper reaches the price screen, a new study has revealed.

In response to the finding that 81% of online travel searches are abandoned before the booking is completed, SaleCycle recently embarked on the first survey of its kind to discover why travellers opt out of their bookings.

53% of travel searches are abandoned when the user is shown the price
53% of travel searches are abandoned when the user is shown the price

And having gathered the opinions of 1,000 online shoppers in 12 countries, the survey revealed that 53% of searches are terminated once the user is shown the price. A further 26% opt out when asked for personal details and 21% when asked for payment details.

But this is not necessarily a reflection of the price being too high; the majority of respondents said they abandoned their search because they wanted to shop around. Thirty-seven percent cited price as the key factor, while 21% needed to check with fellow travellers before committing to the booking.

“Unsurprisingly, the most commonly cited reason for abandonment was that consumers were ‘not yet ready’ to book and were still in the ‘just looking’ process. This trend is common in shopping cart abandonment too, with consumers using the basket page as a way of creating ‘wish lists’ and building up an idea of what their dream purchase would be,” SalesCycle said.

“Price plays a huge part in the booking journey and a large proportion of responders highlighted they wanted to compare prices elsewhere before completing their booking. This was highlighted further when asked ‘where’ in the journey people were likely to abandon, with over half citing the moment they are shown the total price as the point they’d most typically abandon,” it added.

But it appears that online travel retailers do have the ability to convert a greater number of searches into bookings simply by improving their processes. Thirteen percent of respondents said they abandoned their searches as the booking process took too long to complete, while 9% opted out due to technical issues and 7% due to payment issues.

And the opportunities for online travel sales are clear to see; 86% of those surveyed said they typically book their travel online, with only 14% preferring to book in person or by telephone.

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