In this day and age, being a digital traveler is a lot easier than how it was back in the ‘analog’ days. Lucky for us marketers, Google was able to compile the three biggest changes that traveling has undergone since the digital revolution. In their extensive research, Google used more than 300,000 travel-related search terms to analyze how living in a digital world has changed the way we travel.
#1: People are overwhelmed by travel options
Because consumers have access to a new kind of technology, it could be considered as a double-edged sword. After all, we don’t live in a time where we’d actually have to physically go to a travel agency to book flights. With the world at our fingertips, the modern traveler pretty much has a million options to choose from. And it all starts with a single search engine query. This is why when Google conducted their research, they found out that the average accommodation purchase journey is long! It lasts about 36 days and even involved 45 different touch-points.
#2: More travel journeys are starting with search
With how a consumer operates these days, it is safe to assume that a lot do tons of research before committing to something. In the case of traveling, travel shoppers nowadays start with research. Consumers nowadays love to know what they’re getting into rather than entrusting it in someone else’s hands.
The amazing thing that Google found through their study though is that those who started their travel ‘journey’ via research, ended up purchasing quicker. This is compared to those who kicked off their journey with an online travel agency
#3: Digital travelers hop between devices
With purchasing their tickets and booking trips, travelers often encounter roadblocks while they’re on their mobile device. This often leads to them hopping on their laptops to finish their transactions.
What all of these findings mean for marketers
There are a lot of takeaways from this Google research:
- Make sure that your ad campaigns are more of a help than a distraction. A good example of this would be if you based it on the traveler’s ‘digital signal’ and search history. If it suggests that they’re traveling with friends, why not offer them a room bundle with free drinks at the hotel bar?
- Inspire customers and try not to jump straight into a sale. Since they start with research, give them the best options available to inspire them with their trip.
- It is important to embrace the fact that a digital traveler is an omnichannel shopper. This means that you need to take into account creating great experiences across desktop, applications and mobile pages.
As marketers, we need to be aware of the changing times — especially when it comes to buyer journeys. Finding success within digital travelers is through companies invest more on tailoring and personalizing their customer’s experiences.