How to Create Urgency & Improve Conversion in Travel eCommerce

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Image of a booking alert on Airportrentals.com

How does urgency improve conversion?

We don’t like FoMO (Fear of Missing Out). In fact, we hate FoMO so much that we created PredictHQ to help eliminate it from businesses. We favour liberating businesses through improved, contextual and relevant visibility. But the same thought process applies to your customers. If you improve their visibility and put it in context with what they’re searching for, then your messaging can become more impacting and trustworthy, ultimately leading to better conversion.

This is not something we have hypothesised and believe to be true. This is something that we have tested and witnessed the power of first-hand – but more about that later on in the article.

Scarcity is the trigger for the best urgency

We see scarcity used across many travel eCommerce platforms such as booking.com, hotelscombined.com, expedia.com and airportrentals.com to create a sense of urgency and ultimately drive higher conversions. Some typical examples of this include:

  • There are only five left
  • The last booking was 30 minutes ago
  • Availability is limited at this time of year

But why?

What some of these triggers is missing is the ‘why’. Why is availability low? Is it me? Of course it’s not you, silly, but putting these conversion rate optimisation tactics into context based on what, where and when the consumer is searching on can vastly improve conversion.

Let’s face it, telling someone that availability is limited at this time of year has been wearing thin with consumers for a long time. Do they trust this messaging anymore? I doubt it, and if anything, there will come a tipping point (if it hasn’t already) when this type of predictable messaging actually starts to decrease your conversion.

Invert the messaging depending on the customer

Having context also means that it doesn’t always have to be about the urgency sell. You can start to evolve your messaging based on the timing of search the potential customer is doing. For example, below are two scenarios of a customers looking to book a hotel room on an accommodation booking website:

Customer 1 – Looking to book five days out from arrival on June 5th
Booking Alert – “Availability is limited at Shangri-La Hotel due to: Queen’s Birthday and Foo Fighters playing 1km away +3 others”

Customer 2 – Looking to book three months out from arrival on June 5th
Booking Alert – “Congratulations! Secure this deal now at Shangri-La Hotel before availability decreases and prices increase due to: Queen’s Birthday and Foo Fighters playing 1km away +3 others”

Not only do you eliminate the monotony of that very unoriginal ‘booking alert,’ but by using the above approach, your communications become educational and can begin to cater to the different types of customers that are looking to book a room.

But how?

To implement this within a customer’s search experience you need to connect their search criteria, such as location and date, to a diverse, comprehensive and ranked (so you can filter out smaller events) global event data source. This will allow relevant events based on the customer’s search criteria to be displayed within the booking alert to give greater context.

To get your hands on a global event data source, sign up to test the PredictHQ API. This allows you to gain access to real-time and scheduled events from around the world such as concerts, sports, public holidays, school holidays, observances, festivals, conferences, expos, severe weather, natural disasters and more. All in one API. Even better, these events are geo-coded, enriched with additional data then ranked by PredictHQ so that you can filter only the events you want to display.

Read up on our API documentation to help you get authenticated and started. We’ve even got a booking alert widget if you’re after something more off-the-shelf. We can fully customise the template for you too so get in touch if you’d like to use it on your site.

Need some help?

Contact us to discuss using PredictHQ’s API today.

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