You would think that the travel industry knew a thing or two about Internet marketing. After all, many people now book flights, holidays and other travel online, rather than in traditional travel agencies or booking offices. However, the latest “Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report” from WebTrends shows that only 23% will not be using price as a means of generating online revenue. In other words, what that means is that 77% of online holiday companies will be using price as their strategy. This is at the same time as the Internet is full of activity on social networking, blogging, and other forms of interactivity. What people want is some kind of relationship with the web site they use. Study after study has shown that price is not the main issue for someone wishing to buy something – particularly something like a holiday. I remember hearing a few years ago that the average profit made per holidaymaker by tour operators was a mere £1 – on the average holiday price of around £500. If that’s all they can make, they must be doing something wrong. Now I know; they are solidly focused on price, as their web strategy for 2007 shows. This time next year, they’ll be doing a post-mortem on the previous 12 months and wondering why so many holiday makers went “independent” following advice and tips from people on social networking sites. Ho hum.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+