8 tips on what influences customer purchases online and what you should do

In this post we explain what influences consumer purchasing decisions.

Mobile, social media and search technologies

Technology has changed the way we consume information, not only in the tourism sector.  Just take a minute to think about how you hear the latest news? Chances are it comes through your Facebook feed via a news service. Next time you’re out take a look at the number of people on their mobile devices consuming information. There is no doubt that advancements in technology and the interrelationship between mobile technology and social media are driving change in consumer behaviour.

People are consuming information differently

Over the last 10 years we seem to have gotten even busier, we are more connected via our devices and some would argue disconnected personally.  We research travel options online in what Google calls “micro moments”, when we have a few spare moments to gather information.  Due to the abundance of information available we have limited attention spans and digest small pieces of information often.  No longer do we sit down and plan an entire holiday in one sitting, we gather information and save it on our device to review later.  We even leave some elements till when we arrive to add some flexibility.

Your customers are being inspired, consuming information and making bookings on devices and platforms of their choice

Consumers gravitate to the device and platforms they are most comfortable with at the different stages of their travel purchase cycle.  Research shows that whilst searches on mobile are growing, when it comes to booking there are still a lot of people who like to do this on a desktop or laptop computer.  Whilst a growing number of people are adopting social media and there is no doubt that posts from friend and relatives can influence decisions on destinations and types of holidays, most people actively search for holiday information in search engines, Google being the first choice by far.

A key to successful attraction and engagement for your business online is to develop a clear understanding of your target customers and their pathways to purchase and great method to do this is to develop personas for your target markets.

For more information about developing personas I recommend you read this tutorial Smart Marketing Spend 

Search (predominantly Google) plays a role at most stages of the the travel purchase cycle.

Google continues to dominate the market and continues to change its technology and this impacts on how easily your business can by found by your target customers.  90% of people say their use search engines in the planning stage of their travel purchase so it’s vitally important that you do everything you can so that your website comes up on page one in relevant searches on Google  If you website is buried on page 2 or lower for a relevant search term then the chances are that your customers won’t find you. So invest in ensuring your Search Engine Optimisation is on your website is up to speed. You can find out how to do this by visiting our SEO Hub and don’t forget to claim your Google My Business listing, which is free and helps Google to list you for local searches.  That’s when the customer puts in a location in their search.

Did you know on average people visit 7 to 13 websites before making a booking?

Why is that so important?

  • They have so much choice, so your offer must be compelling in terms of both text and imagery
  • They’ll also be looking at the competition and are easily swayed to the most professional looking online image
  • The information they see on websites must be accurate, otherwise you’re setting yourself up to disappoint your customers
  • Your online presence must connect with their needs for the type of holiday experience they are seeking
  • Make sure your content across all platforms provides and delivers the right message to your target audience, supporting your promise to them.

Social media is most relevant at the Dream, Experience and Advocate stages.

Small businesses sometimes struggle to see how social media is providing commercial benefit to their business and that is usually because they don’t see sales or bookings coming from their social platforms.  Social media when used well is a great tool in the early stages of the travel purchase cycle, the Dream stage.  It makes sense when you think about it, when you are dreaming of a holiday destination you might start with Instagram, because it’s the most visual platform. Social media platforms are what your customers use when they are on holiday as they share their experiences with family and friends on Instagram and Facebook and after being your guest they will add reviews on TripAdvisor and other review sites.

Understand your target customer’s online purchase journey

This is in my opinion the key to success, you can’t be everything to everyone, it’s not possible for a small business to be active on all platforms all the time without a dedicated resource and that’s probably out of the question for most of you.

So, it’s important to understand what platforms your customers use and what information and functionality they need at each stage of their purchase cycle, then focus on delivering that.

Facebook, Instagram, You Tube and TripAdvisor must be part of your marketing

These should be the essential four pillars of your social media strategy, but don’t be daunted after all, you can share digital assets across platforms.  Pictures can go on both Instagram and Facebook and likewise for YouTube and Facebook for videos.  But, make sure you tweak your comments so they are appropriate to that particular audience and platform.
It’s all about engaging, meaningful and relevant content for your customers on the right device at the right stage of the purchasing cycle

FREEBIES: Grab your free resource + bonuses!

Pop your details below to download your free resource and our extra bonuses, which include cheatsheets, our Smart Tourism Marketing System email course and monthly grant funding opportunities! 

Feel free to leave a comment so we can get back to you with a professional and practical answer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

HOT TIP!

Use Loom to record your screen and talk to your issue if you'd like! Then paste the link in the comment :)

Latest posts

Team members sitting in front of a macbook screen discussing the 20% bonus tax deduction for small businesses under the Small Business Skills and Training Boost

20% Bonus Tax Deduction for Small Businesses Investing in Skills and Training

We explain how tourism businesses can access a 20% bonus tax deduction under the government’s Small Business Skills and Training Boost.

Read More →

Complete a SWOT analysis to uncover new growth opportunities in 2022

Reassess your business in 2022 by conducting a SWOT analysis that identifies your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Read More →

Grab our Freebies

Click here to access a number of free checklists and resources available to Tourism Operators.

Brisbane
Head office

Suite 1,
57 Woodfield Rd
Pullenvale QLD 4069 
Australia

Sydney

Suite 101,
18-20 Victoria St
Erskineville NSW 2043
Australia

Melbourne

5 Molesworth St
Hawthorn East VIC 3123
Australia

Adelaide

120 Kenilworth Rd
Parkside SA 5063
Australia

Agnes Water

139 Bicentennial Dr
Agnes Water QLD 4677
Australia

Europe

36C Rte de St Cergue
1260 Nyon
Switzerland

aboriginal-flag

Our team would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today. We acknowledge that the sharing of knowledge has occurred across the lands and waterways of Australia for many thousands of years. As we continue to share stories and support small tourism businesses we try to listen to the knowledge and practice that has always existed here and consider how we can contribute to the preservation of culture and Country wherever we live and work.

© proudly brought to you by Digital Coaching International   ABN: 45 153 766 771 All prices are in Australian Dollars

Terms & Conditions  | Privacy Policy