How comfortable are people becoming with transactions over the Internet? One online retailer at the recent Signature Travel Network Owners' Meeting in Amelia Island, Florida, shared an interesting story with Cruise Week. "We had the largest online booking in the history of our company last week," he said.
Indeed. The customer made a $118,000 booking on an iPhone. "He never talked to [an agent]," said the travel advisor. "It wasn't even a World Cruise. This was a 66-day circle South America.
The following is the advisor's story.
Q: What do you know about the customer?
I know nothing about the man and his wife. They've never booked with us, ever. They just went online to our website and booked with us. I don't know if he was sitting on the beach with his phone and just put it in with, "Here's my credit card number for the $17,500 deposit."
I don't even know if he's ever been on the cruise line he had booked.
Q: How do you know it was his iPhone?
We capture all that. We know exactly the device, we know exactly the source code. We know it started with an organic Google search for "world cruises." After landing on the page for World Cruises, he started searching on his own, looking at 73 pages, before he actually booked.
Q: Have you ever had a similar booking?
Before that our largest was probably $40,000. But I talked to my online peers. While it's certainly not the biggest booking anyone has ever had, they said things like, "Wow, the largest I ever had online was $60,000."
Q: What's the significance?
Perhaps it's a confidence issue. The guy was in his late 40s and it's to the point where he feels comfortable enough to book this way.
It seems like the time has finally arrived where people feel comfortable booking even on their phones now. It's absolutely amazing to me that people have that much confidence.
Service has to be exceptional with regards to e-commerce and confirmation emails. You absolutely have to be Amazon-like.