The online takeoff of the tourist sector is a thing of the past and now, more than ever, the art of persuasion is what matters most. And to see just how far Spain still has to travel along this path, here at Multiplica we conducted a comparative survey of 46 factors which condition the persuadability of the country?s 20 most representative airlines and, under the title ??Persuadability in airlines 2005? (a summarised version is available by clicking here, and a copy can be requested on http://www.multiplica.com) and found that ? first of all ? there has been a general thumbs-up for the online presences of the airlines in terms of online persuasion, although with marks of less than 3.5 over 5 (with the exception of Easyjet (4.07) and Vueling (3.52), the winners of our survey) and secondly that the low-cost airlines were rated much more positively than the traditional ones. The former have used the Internet as their main marketing channel (even if not the only one) and their commitment to creating more tempting purchasing experiences has clearly been much firmer.
The airlines are facing a huge challenge for 2006: they need to significantly increase their conversion ratios. That is why they need to get their persuadability manual out and start working on
– The experience of their flight search engines, allowing more flexible searches using e.g. approximate dates (calendar or +/- 3 day format to give the user more options), putting the user more in control of the search, avoiding errors and allowing actions to be undone and redone and providing alternatives when the search is unsuccessful.
– Flight viewing, formatting the text following the user?s scan path, highlighting the more relevant information such as prices or times better, giving the prices (if possible, including taxes) right from the start, preventing the user feeling frustrated at the sight of prices which increase with each step of the process.
– The purchasing experience, anticipating curbs on the user with a purchasing process including contextual help content, not hiding critical information like returns, guarantees or flight changes and with a better balance between having fewer steps to the process and making it completely consistent.
– The look&feel needs more work, needs to be more compact to ensure maximum security, and inspire confidence and empathy.
– Creating a greater sensation of urgency with more contextualised offers, depending on the type of user and purchasing behaviour and with a more attractive display of promotions and discounts.