by WEX Travel
A study from Expedia Media Solutions found that travelers visit nearly 40 sites before booking their trip. How do you make sure your site is the one where they make the booking? One way is to build a checkout process that convinces customers booking with your site is safe, easy and will protect their information.
Help Customers Complete the Transaction Safely
Use these steps to help customers complete their travel purchase safely:
- Prove your site is secure. Consumers know to look for “https” in the browser bar, and offering other security measures up front adds additional comfort level. Include security logos on your site and require customers to login before purchasing. That provides an additional measure of fraud protection for you, as well.
- Don’t hide important information. Consumers will walk away if the information they need isn’t presented up front. That means making the full cost of the purchase, including any fees that will be incurred, visible before they enter their payment credentials. List all the payment methods you accept early, as well, so the customer is prepared by the time they have to provide that information.
- Be flexible with currency. Most consumers will want to see prices in their local currency, but some may have accounts in multiple countries and want the option to pay in any currency. Allow the user to choose the currency for display and billing; if that isn’t feasible, at least integrate a currency converter into the site.
- Be flexible with payment methods. One study estimated that alternative payments will make up more than half of online transactions by 2017. With hundreds of possible payment methods around the world, it’s impossible to support all of them, but it’s important for online booking sites to identify and support the payment methods preferred by their primary users.
- Make booking simple. Keep payment forms straightforward and minimize the manual data entry needed. If you require users to login prior to purchase, you can retrieve much of their information from their account profile. You can reduce fraud by only shipping documents to the addresses associated with the account.
- Have robust error handling. Make sure the site provides detailed information when any error occurs and help the customer fix the problem easily by highlighting the field with the error and positioning the cursor there so correcting it is simple. Messages presented to the customer in the front end must match the reality in the back end; it’s unacceptable to report an error when the booking actually succeeded, or vice versa. Your site shouldn’t assume success or failure in the case of a communications breakdown with third-party sites but needs to handle that failure gracefully and determine and report the actual status.
- Fine-tune your real-time fraud controls. Reviewing transactions for fraud after the fact is expensive as well as too late. Integrate real-time controls and manage the strictness of the checks so you block fraud without blocking legitimate business. It can be helpful to partner with companies that specialize in fraud management and have large databases of transactions and usage patterns to review.
Protect Customers After They Book the Transaction
Data breaches make the news almost daily, and businesses that announce a breach lose customers’ trust and their future business. Consumers expect you will continue to protect their personal information after the transaction booking is complete. Their personal data should be encrypted both in storage and in transmission. Access to their data should be limited and logs of employees who access that data should be regularly reviewed. Protect your networks with controls like firewalls and antivirus software. Both employees and customers should be warned about phishing scams that seek to steal their credentials.
By making it easy for customers to complete a booking and proving to them that you’ll protect them from fraud, you’ll win their business now and in the future.