Create a tailored web experience for your travel users

2019 so far has seen a whole host of web design trends coming to the forefront. One that we have taken a special interest in, and we have seen a lot in Awwwards Site of the Day award winners, is a new approach to eCommerce – simply asking the user what they want.

Is it cheating? We spend hours upon hours trying to find out what our users want from us when we are creating a new web experience, but not everybody is the same. What if we just asked every individual what they wanted from us when they land on our website? That doesn’t sound like cheating at all. That just sounds like the ultimate in user experience design.

Asking the right questions for travel customers.

Booking a holiday is something that is becoming increasingly personal. Gone are the days where you just go to a travel agent and book a generic package deal. Increasingly people are looking for authentic experiences and, as such, they require more control over their holiday bookings. According to Travel Weekly, almost half of customers want a clear, tailored and personalised experience when searching for a holiday.

The customer journey starts right from the inspiration and research phase and still continues after a booking is made. In order to be successful, you have to provide customers with useful tools and tailored information to allow them to explore the options you can offer them and simplify their customer journey.

26% of people need ‘all the help they can get’ to choose where to holiday.

– Travel Weekly

Don’t assume people know where they want to go.

Plenty of people know that they want to get away, but they don’t know the specifics. Right now you’re probably thinking of somewhere hot and sunny, far away from the dreary British weather, but can you tell us the exact location of your daydream? The likelihood is you can’t. This is a key area of the customer journey where you can add value to the process of the ‘inspiration seeker’!

85% said they were open to a travel company personalising their holiday suggestions.

– Booking.com

Inspiring your customers.

The inspiration and research phase is the perfect stage of the customer journey to get creative and showcase your full brand offering.

Sykes Holiday Cottages – “Inspire Me” and Personalised Brochures

Our digital partner Sykes Holiday Cottages have captured their target audience’s imaginations with their “Inspire Me” webpages and personalised holiday brochures.

The new ‘Inspire Me’ area acts as a fantastic content section for prospective and existing customers alike, providing relevant and engaging information to enable holidaymakers to explore various UK holiday destinations and types at the click of a button. This new feature focuses on supporting the SEO efforts of the business through keyword diversification, whilst providing a quick, intuitive and mobile optimised experience to help inspire audiences when searching for a new staycation experience. The ‘Inspire Me’ microsite is built within WordPress and sits alongside the core brand site to provide a useful reference point that offers greater detail around holidaying experiences with useful guides on where to stay, what to do, where to eat and drink, events and travel information to name just a few.

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Following the success of the “Inspire Me” project, we took things to the next level and made things personal.

Sykes Holiday Cottages’ personalised digital brochure offering aims to aid holidaymakers in the early stages of their customer journey, presenting them with options they can choose from to build a bespoke holiday experience. Choosing which options to give the user, and deciding on what questions to ask of them, is a process that is all underpinned by strategy, research, and insights. Once an ideal holiday has been defined, a personalised digital brochure is generated online with a unique URL, providing options to download, share or email to friends and family.

Related articles:

Le Club AccorHotels

Seeker Project

In March, Le Club AccorHotels presented Seeker, a “biometric discovery” tool that encourages users to make snap decisions on how they feel about visual stimuli in order to build their ideal holiday offering, based on metrics such as urban v rural, hot v cold and adventure v relaxation. Upon completing three rounds of visual organisation, the site presents the user with their stats and three suggested locations for them to travel to.

The website itself is beautifully designed and easy to use. With that said, the site is definitely more of a showpiece than a tool that we would expect to see drive heavy conversions and bookings. Sometimes though, the most important thing is improving brand awareness and customer perceptions of your brand. If you are helpful in aiding your customers on their user journey, odds are they will return to your brand again and again.

In summary, there’s no harm in asking.

Sometimes the best way to give your user what they want is to ask your user what they want. Just be sure to do your research, and make sure you are asking the right questions. Simple.

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Written by Candy Sinclair-Ford

Digital Designer