The Solution to High Booking Abandonment

Tuesday 31st March 2015 by Richard Davey

Shopping cart abandonment is a big issue in any online environment, and is also present in online booking. In particular, online travel has a much higher abandonment rate of 81% compared to 68% in other online retailers. 

Over a quarter of online travel shoppers add their order to the basket, but between the basket and the checkout during the booking process there is a staggering 20% drop off.

"A new user booking flow is going to look really different than a frequent user who will be much more likely to go straight through the purchase process. If they don't complete it's because they got distracted. It's not because they're necessarily shopping around", says Alli Brian, product marketing manager at Kahuna.

A tailored and optimised booking flow without distractions is very important, and at we're always looking at ways to improve your conversions based on leading research.

Email remarketing is key

Without any form of remarketing, it’s estimated that 8% of abandoners will return to the site on their own to complete the purchase. With retargeting, 18-20% of abandoners return and convert, spending on average 55% more than those who did not abandon a cart. For new, untested users, re-engaging with an email within the first 60 minutes will increase booking rates. A study by MIT enforces this by stating that 90% of abandoned carts go cold within the first hour.

The content of the email is also important and needs to be carefully crafted. The essentials should be there: customer details, last search, and a clear call to action. Don't forget to personalize the message or offer in any way that you can to make the email appear less automated.

Pick the best time to capture customer details

85% of booking abandoners remain anonymous and will stay that way unless you can get their information. There is still debate over the best way to capture information; some prefer to capture email addresses as early as possible, but many brands see more value in capturing the users email address at the end of the sales funnel as this shows higher purchase intent. You need to assess your own customer base and find the right balance.