Travel Ecommerce Platform Essentials

17 January 2024

By: Sinead Hammond

Category: Blogs

The online travel market is expected to reach $690.71 billion by 2026 (Statista) Brands who want to stay ahead need a dynamic travel ecommerce platform tailored to the unique and complex needs of their customers. 

In this blog, we are looking at the essential elements to look for in a travel ecommerce platform.

Complex Order/Transaction Handling:

Travellers have particularly complex order needs, with each transaction rarely being identical. A whole manner of varying itineraries, extra add-ons and upgrades, promotional codes and bundles are some of the few opinions travellers want at their fingertips. In light of this, users will appreciate the convenience of effortlessly managing intricate travel arrangements, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty. A reduction in transactional friction can also translate to higher conversion rates, as customers are more likely to complete bookings when the process is intuitive and efficient. This is essential for your travel ecommerce platform. 

Robust order handling at scale is pivotal for delivering a seamless booking experience. This enables customers to effortlessly navigate through intricate travel itineraries, select diverse options, and complete transactions with ease. Conversely, a lack of streamlined order and transaction management can lead to frustrated customers, abandoned bookings, and a negative impact on brand reputation.

 

Real-Time Intelligence:

Real-time intelligence is a game-changer in the travel ecommerce sector, providing businesses with valuable insights into customer behaviour, market trends, and inventory dynamics. It empowers decision-makers to adapt quickly to changing conditions, optimise pricing strategies, and tailor marketing efforts based on current trends. 

Without this as part of your travel ecommerce platform marketing teams operate in the dark, making decisions based on outdated information. This lack of responsiveness can lead to missed opportunities, suboptimal pricing strategies, and an inability to meet changing customer preferences. 

Implementing real-time intelligence enables businesses to make data-driven decisions promptly. Subsequently, this can result in more effective marketing campaigns, optimized pricing structures, and improved inventory management. 

Flexible Commerce Foundation:

Flexibility is paramount. It allows businesses to scale operations, adapt to changing market dynamics, and integrate seamlessly with new technologies. Our clients love Sitecore Order Cloud’s modular architecture which ensures full adaptability, enabling travel ecommerce platforms to evolve alongside the business, and preventing the stagnation that rigid systems might incur.

Consequences of Absence: Without a flexible commerce foundation, travel businesses may struggle to accommodate growth, implement new features, or integrate with emerging technologies. This lack of adaptability can hinder innovation, limit scalability, and result in a system that becomes outdated quickly. In a rapidly changing industry, failure to evolve can lead to being left behind by more agile competitors. Find out more about Sitecore Order Cloud here.

Personalisation:

According to Salecycle, over 90% of travellers want personalised online experiences. Travel is a personal experience with a huge range of factors influencing purchase. Without personalisation, travel ecommerce platforms may struggle to connect with customers on a deeper level. Generic offerings and communications can lead to a lack of relevance, reduced customer engagement, and decreased brand loyalty.

Travel brands must offer customers tailored experiences that resonate with their preferences. Your travel ecommerce platform must leverage customer data effectively, providing targeted recommendations, personalised promotions, and unique content. This personal touch enhances customer engagement, loyalty, and satisfaction.

Travel Ecommerce Website

Image by Freepik

Search Features:

A robust search functionality is critical for travel ecommerce platforms. This helps users to quickly find relevant travel options and enhancing the overall user experience. Your travel ecommerce platform should offer search features that empower users to efficiently explore destinations, filter preferences, and navigate through a multitude of offerings. 

This streamlined search experience is essential for converting curious browsers into engaged travellers. As a result, businesses can expect higher retention rates, positive user reviews, and a strengthened competitive position in the crowded travel ecommerce landscape.

Customisable Layouts:

Whilst functionality is crucial, make sure your travel ecommerce platform has customisable layouts to reflect your brand identity, create visually appealing storefronts, and provide a unique user experience. Businesses should be able to tailor the look and feel of their platform, therefore ensuring consistency with brand aesthetics to provide a memorable online journey for users.

Omnichannel Reach:

The modern traveller engages with platforms across various channels whilst shopping for their next adventure. It’s not uncommon for a traveller to feel inspired when scrolling through social media to then purchase on a website just a few days later. According to the American Express 2023 Travel Trends report, 75% of respondents have been inspired by social media to travel to a specific destination. 

But it’s not just about marketing channels. Customers now expect to be able to use technology to check into hotels, make changes to itineraries and even access room service. Your platform should be able to link seamlessly with all of your tools and applications. This will provide the most personalised and streamlined experience, henceforth improving your satisfaction.

Ensuring omnichannel reach is essential for maintaining a cohesive brand presence and meeting customers wherever they are in their journey. In light of this, using a headless commerce platform can help facilitate this with ease. 

What’s next?

Growing traveller expectations necessitates brands choose their travel ecommerce platforms carefully. At Sagittarius, our experts can help you map out the priorities for your digital experience. We will help you building the foundations for a robust and scalable online travel shopping experience for your customers. Our world-class developers help to make your digital vision a reality using the best technology and harnessing years of knowledge to optimise for an experience that converts. 

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If you have a query or would like to find out more about our approach to the implementation and optimisation of a travel ecommerce platform, we'd love to hear from you