The #1 comment we heard during our research was: “I have been running this business for over a decade and its doing just fine. Why do I need to offer online reservations?”
The simple answer is: Because now – Your customers want it!
To me there is no reason more compelling than the fact that your customers want to buy online. There is plenty of research to back up this assertion. Based on the February 2011 report from PhoCusWright – an authority in travel industry research:
80% of adventure/ activity seekers research activities online
58% book activities online from their computers
The number of people booking via phone or email or using request for reservation forms is now less than half the customer base and that segment is shrinking fast. Effectively, companies not offering online reservations, are driving customers to their competitors.
As eye-opening the data on current customer shopping habits is, their future shopping preferences are even more telling
39% of people have already booked activities online using their smart phone
63% of people expect to book adventures and tours online via their smartphones in the near future!
Normally, shopping habits tend to alter very gradually. So when I see consumer preferences that change at such a rapid clip, I cannot but conclude that the space is changing drastically and the industry is at a seminal moment.
Are you seeing trends that jive with or differ from our observations? How are you responding to these trends? We would love to hear your thoughtsat!