Instagram offers the world through your phone, and travel industries cannot afford to be left behind in the digital landscape.
Creating the perfect user experience has become an integral part of the travel sector and can be highly critical to customer retention and successful conversations. In fact, statistics show that almost 40% of users will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load.
It is therefore no wonder that Instagram has a stellar user experience. Simple to use, and quick to produce amazing visual experiences, the use of the platform is easy to pick up by anyone.
With travel, people want to be inspired and Instagram does just that. The use of glamorous images paired with adventurous captions is enough to fuel anyone’s sense of wanderlust. But when we turn to the travel industry, users are continuously met with cluttered screens, difficult site navigation and inflexible search fields.
There is nothing more deterring than trying to book online using a form that is inaccessible and complicated. Converting a customer into a successful booking ought to be a critical part of running a travel business but the majority of travel websites sadly fail miserably in this area.
It’s all about the customer
Quite frankly, your prospective customer is going to judge the quality of your business through the quality of your website. Trust is developed through the positive user experience your website should be delivering.
Say, for example, you were in IKEA and the arrows led you in circles. Your frustration would leave you to vow never to return. Similarly, if your website makes life difficult for your customer, you can be sure they are going to leave in a matter of seconds and never return.
With a new generation of travellers who want a personalised, high-tech experience with instant results, as a travel company, you need to stay abreast of UX needs.
As Instagram shows, high quality images are a must-have for travel sites. Visitors need to be filled with ideas of inspiration and adventure. Antilophia Luxury Travel are a great example of how this can be done, well. Airbnb has harnessed this critical aspect by making use of high-quality images from a more personal perspective; pictures of clean, but relatable, homes and interiors encourage more affordable travel options whilst also fuelling the desire to see a new location. This simple strategy urges participation and in turn, builds brand loyalty.
Don’t forget the content
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but written content is essential to communicating directly with your consumers to address their travelling needs.
Again, Airbnb provides a great example, having discovered a gap in the market for reasonably priced, centrally located home-style accommodation for visitors. The website allows you to be a traveller and not a tourist in the city you’re staying in.
Professionally-taken images on the website are curated alongside text which highlight the amenities, personal details of the host and, most importantly, the location of the home. Supporting information like highlighting nearby popular attractions helps consumers contextualise their trip and start to build out their mental itinerary before they’ve even booked.
User-generated content also goes a long way to gain trust and grow an audience. By allowing users to provide testimonials and a chance to share first-hand experiences, you’ll promote engagement which is attractive to the traveller looking for personal experiences and, at the same time, gathers you a huge amount of data that can be used to understand the needs of your target audience.
But remember, all of this is not possible if you fail to deliver a seamless user experience. For a travel company to thrive in today’s digital landscape, the experience must be personalised, accessible and contain content that focuses on unique customer needs.
Instagram has led the way with providing a personalised platform that offers a hassle-free user experience for travel. What about your website?