Is the user experience of your platform hurting your bottom line?
16th April 2014
For many online travel businesses, conducting front end development can often fall by the wayside when making changes to a reservation platform. With the nuts-and-bolts of API development and system maintenance often being a core focus, optimising the user experience simply doesn’t always take priority.
But with the way we access online travel sites changing and the service demands we expect continuing to increase, online businesses can no longer afford to rely on outdated systems to boost growth. From unresponsive websites to awkward user journeys, a failure to address these issues could be harming your operations in more ways than you think.
Keeping up with changing user behaviour
The continued development of mobile and tablet technology is changing the way that we use the internet. Whereas once the desktop was king, more of us are now turning to handheld devices to attain both the products and services we want – including looking for a holiday or trip abroad.
But for travel agents and tour operators slow to respond to this changing behaviour, the growth in mobile traffic in just a year should be enough to give real cause for concern. In the United Kingdom alone, mobile traffic increased a staggering 14.2 per cent over the course of Jan-Dec 2013. With Smartphones and tablets now accounting for over a third of all mobile internet traffic, handheld devices are now a vital pillar in the e-commerce market.
The startling truth is that unless your reservation platform can accommodate these new devices, you are potentially losing out on a significant number of conversions.
Weighing up the costs of standing still
With the online travel market becoming increasingly saturated and high-street travel agents fighting back from the recession, competition has never been fiercer. Combined with price-comparison websites and advice blogs, today’s consumer is far wiser and much shrewder in the way they spend their money.
So with this abundance of choice, if your site fails to load on a tablet or is cluttered with links and buttons, consumers don’t have to look far to go elsewhere. Essentially, no matter how fast or accurate your reservation platform is, if users struggle to make their booking, performance will count for very little.
Ensuring that your platform provides a good experience requires a system provider that is dedicated to innovating the front end in response to the needs of your users. Your website is the gateway for custom and ultimately, if your reservation platform is acting as a barrier to conversions due to a lack of mobile functionality or poor user experience, then it could be costing your business.