Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Where’s the wow?



I recently bought a laptop online and I was thrilled! The process was quick, simple and all round fantastic experience. By the time I came to put my credit card details in, I was convinced that this was the laptop for me -the spec was right, other users thought it was great, I was confident I was getting great value, and I was sure that the support would be brilliant. A few weeks later and I’m still boasting to people and urging them online.

Funny thing is when every I have booked holiday products my reaction has been the opposite. By the time I come to pay, I’m exhausted. I have trawled the depth and breath of Google and Yahoo convinced there is a better option out there and concerned the one I have chosen is not going to deliver what I want.

So what would make me go “WOW”? I’m not sure exactly, but I do know that once I’m ready to book I want to feel convinced. I want to know that this is the right holiday for me; I want to be sure that the value is superb, the accommodation will live up to expectations and that any problems will be quickly resolved. I want to be able to put my head on the block and say to my friends and colleges this site is fantastic, you well get what you are looking.

I want the booking to be part of the holiday experience; I want to be inspired and excited by the potential. I want to feel that this holiday is going to be the best of my life. I want to know what I can, can’t, should and must do.

Can it be done? Of course it can – if a site can get can me so attached and so excited when buying a laptop, surely a site can thrill me when booking 10 days at the beach.

1 comment:

Travolution blogger said...

There's never going to be a wow factor about straight forward purchases over the internet, whether it's CD's from Amazon.co.uk, tickets for events or a holiday. But simplicity of the booking process certainly eases the experience.

However, good websites succeed because they trigger something in the user. Humour is a really important contribution to websites and can serve much more to fix a brand into a consumer's mindset than many ad campaigns. In terms of travel, it's a tricky one as you can give consumers a laugh, but you certainly don't want to stop yourself being taken seriously or not appear as a responsible supplier.

An example of a successful effort is a spoof campaign launched by Alaska Air a few years ago which is still going strong. Visit www.skyhighairlines.com and you'll fine an airline whose motto is "Flying more, caring less". The site, which has several sections, is a sardonic take on the worst side of air travel service standards, and, for example, features a message from the company boss entitled 'what is it with you people?' The booking form eventually suggests Alaska Air as an alternative to all the unpleasantness, and it's a really well done example of viral marketing. It's an elaborate hoax which was reported to cost around the $10 million mark, but you don't have to go to all that extent. lastminute.com, for example, features on its home page a link titled 'the boss is watching -look busy' which takes you through to an incomprehensible but office-friendly spreadsheet - a nice touch.

A little creative thinking can make all the difference...