Why milliseconds make a difference to your OTA
Speed, responsiveness, and time-to-market are all terms we in the travel industry are painfully aware of. But is it necessary to get your search times down to milliseconds?
Your customers expect speed. Long gone are the days of waiting for information to load on the internet. Instead, instant availability is the norm, so if your website doesn't match these expectations, it will create an uncomfortable user experience and poor conversion.
The world-renowned digital marketing agency, Portent, estimates that the highest e-commerce conversion rates occur on pages with load times between 0-2 seconds. Furthermore, for every second between 0-9 seconds, conversion rates drop by an average of 2.11%! And after 10 seconds? Forget about it. Clearly, patience is no longer a virtue.
Your customers also expect to see accurate pricing and availability while searching for products on your website. Unfortunately, the two seem at odds. Giving your customers accurate offers takes time. Live searches of all available offers are notoriously slow. Suppliers who use outdated systems can take ages to deliver their products to you. This time makes your website seem sluggish and outdated.
But remember, the customer is always right.
So how can your online travel agency get ahead of the competition and match these demanding expectations?
Of all available options, the solution that will drastically reduce your search response times while ensuring high accuracy of price and availability is cached data.
Cached data is exceptionally effective at speeding up your search response times because your customers no longer have to wait for your suppliers to send the information to your website. Instead, we collect the data from your suppliers at the start of the day, pack it and deliver it to you, allowing you to show your customers up-to-date offers without needing individual live searches. The accuracy of the data is monitored live using state-of-the-art dashboards, and if needed there are algorithms in place that will kick into gear to keep the data as fresh as is required. We are renowned for maintaining the price and availability accuracy of our cached data well above global industry standards.
A small sacrifice in data accuracy has been deemed ok by market leaders and does not affect conversion. If 5% of the time your client taps to book and the price changes, or the room is no longer available, you will still achieve better conversion than making them wait for precious seconds as you fetch live rates and availability from your suppliers.
In fact, Google rates 95% price accuracy well within its ‘excellent’ category when ranking hotel advertisements, something our clients are well aware of. Also, price and availability accuracy aren’t the only metrics Google considers when ranking hotel offers, customer experience is also crucial. How fast your page loads and the quality of information within affects your page rankings and cost-per-click price, so it’s in your best interest to have both highly accurate price and availability and quality hotel information. With Resfinity search results will appear to your customers in mere milliseconds. As a result, your website will feel crisp and match the instant gratification people crave nowadays.
Imagine the situation; your customer searches for hotels in Barcelona. By doing a live search, your customer will receive 100% accurate information, but it takes 5-10 seconds. He gets impatient and starts another google search or clicks another banner. Now imagine cached data powers your searches; your customer will receive all offers in milliseconds, and your website will conduct a live search only when they click on an offer.
The benefit is twofold. First, you no longer have to conduct as many live searches, saving you money by reducing traffic costs. Second, your user experience will improve drastically while still providing high price and availability accuracy. Improving the responsiveness of your website is just one of many advantages of using intelligent caching solutions. To learn more about how our cached data can help streamline your business, CLICK HERE.
ANIXE is the largest global provider of hotel cached data, specifically for the travel industry, and the EXCLUSIVE source of Expedia Partner Solutions’ cached data. Find out why we are so popular.