Online travel consumers continue to exhibit limited loyalty, using on average almost three web sites and offline agents as they research the best deals. Best-rate guarantees, however, have begun to tip the scales toward supplier sites over other types of travel providers, according to new research from Jupiter Research.
The Jupiter Research consumer survey, entitled 'Consumer Survey Report, Travel 2004', found that travel customers are still very price sensitive and are interested in more features on travel web sites. Some of the key findings of the study include:
- Best-rate guarantees would motivate the majority of online consumers to make more purchases online.
- Consumers are highly interested in the ability to fix mistakes without penalty and to cancel or change reservations on the web site where travel was booked.
- Some 25% of consumers would be more inclined to purchase more travel online if web sites offered clearer wording regarding penalties and fees.
- Unlike their European counterparts, US consumers are not as receptive to the idea of buying bundled products online, mainly because they prefer to shop around.
"Online travel consumers continue to be price sensitive and increasingly demanding," said Jupiter Research online travel analyst Diane Clarkson. "Best-rate guarantees have begun to benefit suppliers in increasing direct online bookings. And, if airfare prices are equal, consumers are more likely to use an airline's site than any other type of site to book their travel."
The complete findings of the survey are available to Jupiter Research clients online.