Are you running an online travel agency? Are you doing ok? Great! How about doing even better?
How many changes have you made to your website over the last year? You don’t remember? The offering has changed and the photos and styles have followed suit. The structure of subpages and the presentation of promotions could have changed as well. What might remain unchanged despite all those modifications is the average conversion ratio. Why?
One thing is certain: online travel site users are a picky bunch. They search, compare, and analyse. They are knowledgeable and clued up. So, if they have found their way to your website and an interesting trip there, your main goal is not to let them just go.
First, get rid of what’s redundant. Each obstacle on the way to submitting an order should be removed. Look at the order form—how long is it, how many fields does it contain, how many of them require manual entry, what is written next to them and will the lay person understand what to enter? Test that on your family members and friends, especially those who don’t excel at browsing the web.
Check how many text fields that absolutely must remain can be replaced with glossary-based fields with a drop-down list of preset options. Decide whether the field title corresponds exactly with the information that should be entered. Are you sure you don’t need an additional description, even a short one? If fields contain validators for entered data, double check them. Also, if descriptions already exist, does their content match the meaning of mouseover tooltips?
Read aloud all error messages that appear when a customer fills a field incorrectly or misses a required field. Are you sure every customer will understand what the system developer meant? Does the customer understand where they made a mistake or overlooked something? If you count on their common sense, exceptional powers of observation and general knowledge that lets them understand an apparently obvious error immediately… you won’t improve your conversion ratio.