First of all, Happy New Year to you! Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read the first post in this Micro-Moments series. If not, take a few moments to read before reading this one – it will make a bit more sense!
Trip Planning in Micro-Moments
Case studies show that some people can plan trips within hundreds of micro-moments over a period of time. In one article, a user was followed through his journey of trip planning.
Typically, these micro-moments will fall under four stages of planning, with one being already mentioned above. Below are the stages explained, as well as some tactics you can use to get these travelers to convert. Keep in mind, the key to being successful in converting your customers at any stage has to do with understanding their intent, and how they can act on it quickly to get to the next stage of planning.
“I want to get away” moments
These are the moments people start thinking about their next vacation. In Liam’s case above, he was planning three separate trips.
- 37% of people think about traveling once a month, 17% once a week
- “What to do in…” and “Where is…” are the most popular search queries when in this stage of planning
- Almost half of these searches [in general, not just Liam’s case] are non-branded queries from mobile devices
- First and foremost, make sure your site is mobile-responsive for these mobile searches – that’s just a good rule of thumb in general!
- The search queries in bullet two above are a great opportunity to put content on your website, like in a blog, to talk about things you can do in your destination
- YouTube is also a great way to visually market your destinations, and further inspire a visit
- 64% of potential travelers watch videos when thinking about taking a trip
- 37% of potential travelers watched them as a sense of “confirmation” when deciding where they want to go
- If you’re interested in seeing some great examples of YouTube destination marketing videos, check out the Travel Wisconsin channel. I am from Wisconsin, and can validate that the experiences they share in the videos are legit! 🙂
“Time to make a plan” moments
These are the moments when people start to organize their trip and narrow down where they want to go, where they’re staying, and how they’re being transported.
- At this point, people are open to trying new hotels/airlines/etc.
- 14% always book with the first air brand that comes to mind, for hotels it is 10%
- Common searches include “hotels in [destination],” “car rentals in [destination],” “flights to [destination]”
- SEO Opportunity – be sure you’re optimizing your on-page content and metadata to show up on the first page of results for the search queries listed above
- This can be done organically, through AdWords, or other paid advertising
- Use promotions/incentives to overcome brand indifference or trip indecision
- 30% of people take a trip they weren’t planning when incentivized
- 25% would go to an unfamiliar destination
- 25% would consider booking a last-minute flight
- 32% book with unfamiliar hotels
I can personally attest to these tactics! Last year I booked a trip to go the Dominican Republic for 2017. It’s a destination I’ve never been to, and I had no intentions of traveling anywhere since I had other major purchases coming in the near future. However, the deal was too good to pass up, so my fiancé and I decided to book – no regrets!
“Let’s book it” moments
The moment we’ve all been waiting for – conversion! If you’ve made it to this stage, kudos to you! While you’re likely to get the sale, there’s something you should keep in mind; 46% of travelers make their final booking decision on mobile, but moved to a different device to make the booking (majority on desktop).
Now, let’s stop here for a second. This is important. If you’ve noticed in most of our blogs around digital strategy, we preach to be mobile-responsive. So why would people book on desktop, when mobile is the preference for just about anything else?
It really boils down to two reasons:
- Users are not confident in transparency and pricing information
- Usability limitations on booking through a mobile device
When this happens during the customer’s buying journey, this creates a “kink” in the process. This delay in conversion could even have a potential in overall loss of the sale. In fact, about 88% travelers with smartphones switch to other sites or apps if yours doesn’t meet their needs. To avoid this from happening, here are a few things you should do:
- Offer reassurance with no penalty cancellation and/or best price guarantees
- Eliminate booking steps – keep usability top of mind and make it easy for them to book
- Social Logins via Facebook, Twitter, or other channels
- One-click Purchase- think Amazon
- Auto-fill forms, especially if they’ve booked with you previously
- Provide alternatives for transactions, like click-to-call
- Some people are still wary about putting credit card information on the web
- Allow guests to book directly through Google
- Google allows users to book directly with destinations from their search tool, versus linking out to your website to start that process. (See Part 3 in our series next month for how to achieve this.)
- This will allow the user to be confident in the reservation details (pricing, dates selected, etc.), without having to re-enter or double-check for accurate pricing.
“I can’t wait to explore” moments
Congratulations! They’ve booked with you and are now in the area visiting at this stage. Your job is not done though. At this point, your visitor is overcoming unfamiliarity with the area. Research has shown the mobile queries have grown immensely, with many including the phrase “near me.”
“Restaurants near me.”
“Things to do near me.”
“Bars/clubs near me.”
If you are a restaurant, hotel, destination, etc., make sure your website is optimized for SEO and usability. SEO helps you be found in searches like these, and optimized user-experience makes it easier for the user to review offerings, consumer ratings, and book direct.
This is also an opportunity to form community partnerships, assuming you may not offer the amenities listed before. You can refer your guests to do other things in the area with businesses that you know offer a great experience. This will give visitors the feeling that they’re getting that “local experience,” which is what most people strive to have when visiting unfamiliar locations.
Now that you have a few ideas on how to optimize your guest experience through each planning stage, I encourage you to take a few moments and evaluate how you’re currently performing in each stage. If you’re unsure of how to do so, our team can help!
Next month is the final blog post to this series regarding the opportunities to partner with Google to increase bookings. We will even talk briefly about Google Trips.
Feel free to comment or tweet us your questions or thoughts on micro-moments and trip planning. Until next time, friends!
Collective Data Sources: thinkwithgoogle.com; neilpatel.com; Kinsta; Small Business Trends; imFORZA.