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Amadeus: Be Aware of Shifts In Online Shopping Behavior

February 22, 2012 By: George Dooley Travel Agent

Travel planning in the future will be impacted by new technologies such as the truly private “private sale,” cumulative “intelligence” and smart systems/virtual private assistants, a new study from Amadeus reports.

The new Amadeus report, Empowering Inspiration: the Future of Travel Search, identifies trend-setting consumers´ behavior and motivations when shopping for travel online and identifies their experience during the destination selection, shopping and booking processes.

The study also details the key trends and predictions for how consumers want to be able to search for travel online in the future.
Highlights of the report show that for the destination, shopping and booking process, consumers in emerging markets are more frustrated than their developed country counterparts due to information overload and a lack of confidence that they are getting a good deal.
Cross-market comparisons show that younger, savvy consumers in emerging markets are mastering social media and mobile travel information more than most developed markets, Amadeus says.
The Amadeus-commissioned study surveyed 4,638 travelers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, India, Russia and Brazil. In addition to consumer insights, 18 executive interviews with thought leaders around the world were conducted to gain industry perspective on where travel search is headed.
Although the travelers under review are not representative of the mainstream consumer, they have the most sophisticated shopping needs and represent the early adopters whose current behaviors and preferences are leading indicators of behavior in the future, Amadeus reports.
Key findings:

The frustrations and pain points travelers face when planning and booking travel. All consumers face frustrations during the destination, shopping and booking process, however, those in emerging markets are more frustrated than their developed counterparts. For example in the shopping process, 47 percent of U.S. travelers experience frustration online, compared to over 78 percent of Russian travelers. This is due to information overload and the lack of confidence that they are getting a good deal, Amadeus says.
New ways in which travelers would like to search for travel. In the developed markets, nearly 50 percent of travelers had a particular place in mind, whereas in the emerging markets, it was only about a third of travelers. Catering to these travelers is advantageous, as attracting shoppers earlier in the purchase funnel broadens their audience and reduces their reliance on search and referral traffic. Furthermore, more than four in 10 travelers across the markets are flexible about travel dates, thus tools that help determine where and which travel dates have the lowest price have widespread appeal. It is time to think outside of the traditional city pair/travel date box.
How travelers want to use mobile devices and social networks when planning and sharing travel experiences. Three in 10 travelers in Europe currently have no interest in using their mobile phones for travel-related activities, but U.S. consumers show levels of interest comparable to emerging markets for mobile features such as alerts, check-in, etc. Mobile device usage for travel is more than twice as common in emerging markets, most notably in India, where nearly 24 percent of travelers research destinations online on their phones.
The report also looks at how new technologies may change travel planning in the future, including:
·         The truly private “private sale”: Marketplaces around the world have been flooded with promotions, deals, and now flash sale brands that tout discounts with no context of whether an individual would be interested in the product. As consumer segmentation and behavioral targeting to consumers becomes more sophisticated, sellers will be able to microtarget promotions to specific consumers, offering products that are actually relevant for the buyer, Amadeus reports.
·         Cumulative “intelligence”: With hundreds of options, online shoppers are overloaded. Eventually, programs will learn from an individual´s behavior over time by observing and aggregating common patterns. Microsegmentation will help companies analyze behavior and deliver increasingly intelligent results.
·         Smart systems and virtual private assistant: Devices will become smart and interconnected, and will store and make sense of information consumers look at. The program will recognize and process inputs from the sites consumers visit and what they do on them, and will act as an assistant on the consumer´s behalf.
 “Amadeus commissioned this study to understand how consumers will search for travel in the future. To effectively support our customers, we need to understand the developments that look set to affect both the future of travel search and the success of travel sellers´ business. Today, we stand at the forefront of a technological evolution in travel that we refer to as Online Travel 3.0 which recognizes the power shift from suppliers to retailers and to end consumers.” said Stephane Durand, director, online & leisure, Amadeus.

Durand continued, “There are clear opportunities for travel sellers to inspire and convert consumers while alleviating degrees of frustrations along the way. For example, the use of advanced destination selection and content customization tools to attract and inspire consumers earlier in the travel planning process is key to gaining competitive edge in the years ahead.”

To download a copy of the Empowering Inspiration: The Future of Travel Search study visit

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About the Author

George Dooley
George Dooley, Travel Agent’s senior contributing editor covering retail and technology, has a long-standing reputation as one of the top travel industry journalists. He notes...

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By George Dooley | February 22, 2012
47 percent of U.S. travelers experience frustration online when shopping.
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