Where’s the first place you go when seeking information about an unfamiliar brand? The phone book, of course! OK, maybe not, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years. You visit a brand’s website. And when it comes to an airline’s website, it plays a central role not only in finding out what its customers value, but also in showing travellers what the brand offers.
What does this mean for airline travel? When travellers search for a flight they will base their decision on the variables they see online: price and flight schedule. But our research shows that there could be a missed opportunity here to sell the customer something else they might want, and for them to really engage with an airline’s unique offering.
In our Embracing Airline Digital Transformation report airline customers were asked how easy they found it to compare features on an airline website other than price. Here are the results:
- 58% Mixed – some airlines make it really clear what they offer, others don’t
- 28% Difficult – other than price, they don’t find out much about what the actual flight will be like
- 14% Easy – it’s really clear what the on-board experience will be like
While online consumers have a variety of resources at their fingertips for comparing brands’ offerings, airlines that offer quality, first-hand information enable travellers to base their purchasing decisions on more than base price and schedule. Increasingly, airlines are recognising that their websites are portals between their customers and their brands. Without the right content, it’s impossible to serve the traveller’s needs fully in an increasingly data-driven marketplace.
For example, Icelandair’s website features inspirational photography showcasing Iceland’s natural beauty before promoting the opportunity to “add adventure to your journey” with a stopover in Iceland on the way to the US or Canada, with “up to seven nights at no additional airfare”. The site also features a concise video that clearly presents the value of booking a stopover – adventure, at no extra cost. What its website communicates is the value of the airline’s offering. Iceland is a gateway to North America, and a desirable destination for a stopover for several days, and this makes it as easy as possible for the customer to enhance their journey and purchase this experience.
Check out our Embracing Airline Digital Transformation report for more on this topic.