When it comes to air travel, customers in 2019 have more choice than ever before. As they increasingly seek better ways to find and book exactly what they need – quickly and efficiently – it pays for airlines and travel brands to get this right.
Empowering travellers to customise bookings
Indeed, there is no question that the personalisation trend is here to stay. With the modern traveller now demanding consistently high levels of customisation across each stage of the planning and booking process, the brands that understand their customers’ expectations and preferences are reaping the largest benefits.
Whether it’s long- or short-haul, this means that those looking to differentiate their offering from the competition should look for opportunities to upsell ancillaries early on. Through the click of a button, these extras can truly make or break a booking.
What do travellers value most?
Against this backdrop, we recently surveyed a representative sample of 1,000 Skyscanner users to find out what onboard services they valued the most when travelling in 2018. Here are the top results from our research:
Assigned seat (13%)
In-flight entertainment (13%)
In-flight meal (11%)
Power socket (11%)
Extra legroom (9%)
Blanket and pillow (8%)
In-flight WiFi (8%)
Jon Hoar, Director, Product Management at Skyscanner, comments: “Interestingly, the findings have revealed quite an even split of preferences when it comes to onboard options, with seating and in-flight entertainment top of travellers’ lists of must-haves.
“From airlines to hotels and car rentals, the travel industry really needs to emphasise tailored options and services to stay competitive in 2019. Ultimately, making things easy and personal is key to winning more travellers’ hearts.”
Leveraging newer, smarter distribution channels
The key here is maximising new distribution channels to offer a wide range of options to your customer at the point of sale, all the whilst ensuring the booking process remains as streamlined and straightforward as possible. This will not only minimise drop-off and boost conversions, but increase the total transaction value too.
For example, Skyscanner’s Direct Booking capability is a powerful tool that allows travellers to research, choose and immediately book via Skyscanner. It leverages the platform’s traffic to effortlessly convert browsing into booking, whilst also giving you the ability to upsell ancillaries and own the customer’s journey.
Jon Hoar continues: “Direct Booking combines all the advantages of ancillary up-sell and branding control, whilst simultaneously connecting you to a growing, engaged audience of travellers.
“Getting started with Direct Booking is straightforward. That’s why we’re seeing a rise in the number of partners opting for the solution – achieving up to 100% uplift on the sale of ancillaries, up to 20% boost in conversion rates uplift, and an increase of up to 50% on mobile conversion rates.”
Interested in finding out how you can stay ahead of the distribution curve? Read our guide to NDC, developed in corporation with IATA, or click below to contact us today.