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Building trust in Travel booking

A. Context

The current conversion rate on Unravel online travel platform is low - similar to industry standards. Users seem hesitant to complete their bookings due to concerns related to trust and security. Addressing these concerns is crucial to improving user confidence and driving higher conversion rates. Cracking this issue can lead to building of a significant moat and turbocharge B2C business growth for Unravel.

B. Scope

Fundamentally two main use cases for travel
The scope of the document is restricted to leisure travel where the individual is assumed to the persona taking decisions

C. User journey

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1. Dreaming
Users in this stage are driven by a sense of wanderlust and a desire for new experiences.
Emotions such as excitement, anticipation, and a yearning for escape play a significant role in this stage.
Users influenced by social media, travel blogs, and recommendations from friends and influencers.
The desire for personalised and unique experiences motivates users to discover lesser-known destinations.
2. Planning
Users become more practical and detail-oriented in this stage as they transition from dreaming to planning.
Users consider factors such as:
travel dates
specific interests (e.g., adventure, culture, relaxation).
Some users prioritise flexibility in their plans, seeking options that allow them to customize their itineraries.
The need for value and cost-effectiveness drives users to:
compare prices
read reviews
look for deals.
3. Booking
This stage is marked by decision-making and the need for reassurance.
Trust and credibility play a vital role, with users preferring reputable booking platforms with positive reviews.
Users seek validation from social circles, consulting friends or family who have traveled to the same destination.
4. Travel Experience
Users enjoy the trip, immersing themselves in new experiences, cultures, and people, capturing memories through photography or journaling.
5. Reflection
After returning from the trip, users undergo a period of reflection and processing of their experiences.
They experience a mix of emotions, including nostalgia for the journey.
The desire to preserve the memories leads to creating travel photo albums or sharing travel blogs.
Users may begin to plan their next travel adventure, fuelling their sense of wanderlust once again.

D. How to develop and enhance trust?

Build credibility
By association
Ex- showcase preferred parter tags with large known hotel chains / hospitality leaders
By execution
Showcase prominently # of bookings executed on Unravel, # of journeys undertaken and build testimonial culture
Over index on direct supply > Clearly display all costs, fees, and taxes upfront during the booking process; avoid hidden charges; range prices on indirect demand / channel partner supply
Provide a detailed breakdown of fare components, such as base fare, taxes, and additional charges.
Highlight our refund and cancellation policies in a user-friendly manner, assuring users of their options in case of unforeseen changes.
Share openly all key booking metrics - # of trips booked per day, # of trips completed and # of refunds credited
Reviews and ratings
Integrate a verified user review system for each service (flight, hotel, etc.) to enhance authenticity.
Display average ratings prominently alongside user reviews to give users a quick overview of the service quality.
Respond proactively to negative reviews to show that customer feedback is valued and taken seriously.
Claim authority
Showcase expertise
Offer personalised travel recommendations based on the user's previous bookings and preferences.
Set standards
Setup and run industry wide accreditations; set up prestigious awards in associations with credible authority figures or backed by significant rewards

E. Metric design

Conversion Rate (bookings/visits)
Abandoned Booking Rate (%)
Average User Rating (1 to 5)
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
Number of Positive User Reviews

On a side note

What are the means and what are the ends for Unravel? What I mean is booking the means or an end? Is booking core to the business? While some amount of booking is always necessary, there are other means to make revenue but more difficult; Increasing bookings will need some unique proposition - Differentiated supply or differentiated experience etc are all ways to get this done;
The danger in all the above experience led approach is going the route of

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