Travel Shopping

What are online buyers looking for? If you are selling online, it’s got to be one of the most important questions. Recently I came across some interesting research. Like many of these things, it makes so much sense after you read it. “Oh yes that makes sense,” I tell myself and pretend I knew it all along. But, as they say here in the office, every day is a school day.

So what is the answer ? It turns out that online buyers want to be able to distinguish one option or product from another. In order to do this, they look for rich descriptive and pictorial information – in short a great website that informs with text and pictures. The website must support their idea of what they are about to purchase.

Potential customers can easily click from one company to another and many will continue to click and search until they find a website with great content. There is also evidence –  and this is a big one –  that customers who value rich content book more often and have higher budgets. This makes an even more compelling case for creating the best possible information rich website. Content truly is king and queen.

PS: On the reverse side of the same coin, 38% of online bookers – 47.5 million people – avoid staying at hotels they can afford when they don’t find photos, videos, or written content that make them feel comfortable about their potential experience (Source: Harteveldt, Henry and Elizabeth Stark, Forrester Research, “Poor Content Could Cost Travel” eBusiness Money, Sept. 8, 2009)

Welcome message

Welcome to the freetobook blog. We (Iain and I) plan to keep updating it on a weekly basis with tips and ideas for online success. From time to time there will be news and updates on how freetobook is doing, but more often we will be posting general advice we hope will help you improve your web content and ultimately increase bookings on your website.

As you might imagine, we view hundreds – even thousands – of websites. As we go we pick up some good ideas and also spot some (perhaps too many) bad practices. We look forward to sharing some of our findings and having a fruitful conversation.