The 2016 editions of eTravel and eRetail Europe, held last month in Amsterdam, brought together many experts in online travel and online retail. Many came to share their insights from different business sectors and discuss the latest trends in these two fascinating and fast-growing industries. We put together the most important takeaways from these two events. Check them out below!
Main online travel and retail trends
Two of our experts discussed online travel and retail trends. Among the insights into online travel they revealed that the modern travel consumer chooses a particular company mainly based on the following aspects: price, previous experience with the company and reputation.
In regards to payments, one of the biggest challenges online travel agencies face is higher fraud risk; they are three times more likely to be targeted by fraud than brick-and-mortar travel agents. Another challenge is the fact that card payments are not the preferred payment choice everywhere. For this reason, retailers must offer payment options suitable for the regions they plan to be active in. Without the right payment options, they cannot move cross-border.
In terms of online retail, we found out that 21 percent of merchants state that user experience is a major challenge. Retailers lose USD 18 billion annually due to cart abandonment caused by a poor user experience quality. Moreover, as we look towards the future of online retail, we predict that online marketplaces will dominate the sector.
Obstacles and keys in maximizing conversions
Poor mobile experience is one of the main obstacles preventing merchants from maximizing conversion. Consumers generally avoid using mobile for online bookings just because they perceive desktop as a safer choice, as it gives them a clear overview of their booking. Conversely, they believe booking online using a mobile device is risky and restrictive.
A good mobile experience would translate into having colors adapted to mobile screens, distinctive mobile interface, different levels of information and the option to use different filters for easier bookings.
On the other hand, a key to optimizing conversions is using data to influence consumers in their customer journey. Data empowers merchants to understand their customers better and create website journeys tailored to their needs and interests. In turn, personalized customer journeys will significantly influence consumers to book from merchants that they identify with and that offer what they are looking for.
Omnichannel is not an activation, but a complete mindset
Next to data analytics comes the importance of consistent communication across all channels using the same design language.
Retailers must offer customers the possibility to move seamlessly and effortlessly from one channel to another. A successful omnichannel strategy is created by implementing the same brand narrative in each channel through design language.
Another hot topic heavily discussed at both eTravel and eRetail Europe 2016 was innovation. But what does innovation specifically entail?
Convenience, operational efficiency and artificial intelligence.
These are the main ingredients for innovation in either online travel or online retail nowadays. Today, shoppers choose to purchase items online mainly due to convenience, and the innovative technology behind it. An expert from Samsung Nordics gave an example of innovation from the brand that might be soon introduced on the market: a refrigerator containing video cameras that are connected to the mobile device of consumers. This way consumers can conveniently check beforehand what they are missing and pass by the store on their way home. The secret to this type of innovation? CONVENIENCE, which was also cited as the main driver of ecommerce.
As part of innovation, companies becoming digital was also the topic of several discussions at the two conferences. According to Deloitte Digital, being digital is not something companies do, but something they are. Becoming digital is not just a passing trend for retailers but a MUST on their to-do list.
These are just a few insights shared at eTravel and eRetail Europe 2016. Curious to know more? Do not miss our presentations!