What Should I Track? Part 4: Booking Sites & Apps

Using Woopra - September 4th, 2013 by Natalie Issa.

Airline, hotel, travel, and other sites and applications where the main goal is to get customers to complete bookings, use analytics to optimize the process of attracting, converting, and retaining customers. For a quick example of how one company does it, take a look at this 2 minute video featuring Woopra customer and travel startup GetGoing.

As with SaaS and E-commerce, the best way to approach this is to follow each stage of the customer journey and identify the key areas you want to analyze and understand.

Stage 1: Pre-Booking

Measuring what customers do on your site before they book helps you understand what attracts customers, what they are looking for, and how to deliver more value.

While there are many events you will want to track, perhaps the most important one is the search event and its properties. For example, if you are running an airline’s site, you will want to track when people search for flights and the details of that search – which destination, dates, travel class, number of passengers, etc. In this situation, the “search” would be the custom event and the other pieces of information would be the properties you would send along with the event.

After a customer performs the search, they will continue to sort through and evaluate the results. You will want to track this behavior as well in order to understand what drives your customers’ decision process. For example, you will want to track whenever a customer sorts the search results based on a certain criteria, such as “price, low to high”.

Once we are tracking this, we can analyze what criteria is important to different customer segments. For example, we can run a report on our top customers and see which criteria they sort results by most in order to understand which considerations are important to them. We also might discover that customers traveling with one or more children tend to sort by time of departure, possibly because they have less flexibility in that area.

Here is a table that outlines some of the key events you would want to track at this stage:

Event: Search  
Property Destination
Property Departure Location
Property Departure Time
Property Travel Dates
Property Travel Class
Property Number of Adult Passengers
Property Number of Children Passengers
Event: View Flight Details  
Property Flight Number
Property Flight Destination
Event: Sort Results  
Property Sort Criteria
Property Destination
Property Travel Class
Property Number of Adult Passengers
Property Number of Children Passengers

Stage 2: Booking

Optimizing Your Funnel

Now the customer has made their selection and is ready to start the booking process. There are usually quite a few steps involved in completing a booking and it’s important to track every one of them in detail. Doing so allows you to identify areas of friction and resolve them to optimize the conversion process.

A very simplified booking process may look something like this:

  1. Select Flight
  2. Add Personal Details
  3. Add Payment Method
  4. Confirm

Note that in addition to the larger steps, such as those above, you will also want to track all the “mini steps” in between them in order to pinpoint exactly where customers are leaving.

Once we are tracking each step, we can build a Funnel Analytics report that shows us which steps need optimizing.

Flight Booking Funnel

We can also segment this funnel to understand how different customer segments move through it. For example, we may want to segment it by frequent flyer status, as shown below.

FF Status Cohorts

Customer-Facing Teams

Once the customer submits their email to you in the booking process, it will be attached to their Woopra Customer Profile and they will be identified whenever they return.

Airline Booking Customer Profile

Customer Profiles give customer-facing teams, like sales and support, instant insight into customer behavior, interests, and intent. All of the events you are tracking, such as search and sorting results, will be displayed in the Customer Profile in real-time. You can also send other information about customers, such as their frequent flyer status or meal preferences, and they will be displayed within the Customer Profile.

Embedding Customer Profiles in your CRM makes them quickly accessible to customer-facing teams. It can, for example, tell a salesperson what a customer is looking for, or help a support agent quickly diagnose a problem. Woopra’s Salesforce integration was built with this in mind.

Stage 3: Post-Sale

After a customer has completed a booking, you want them to stay engaged with your brand and make repeat bookings. In many ways, retaining existing customers might actually be more important than converting new ones.

In order to measure retention, you will want to make sure you send a property with the first booking indicating that it is the first.

Now that you have done this, you can create a retention report that shows you for how long customers continue to come back and make repeat bookings after they make their first booking.

If you have a frequent flyer or loyalty program, you can use retention to measure its effectiveness and discover if it is actually bringing customers back. To do this, you would run a retention report and segment it by frequent flyer or loyalty program status. You can then compare the retention of customers in each category to determine if the program is doing its job.

Other Events to Track

In addition to the events outlined above, you will want to track anything that is important to your business and that you would want to measure. Some examples include:

  • Login
  • Request Support
  • Subscribe to Newsletter
  • Receive/Open Email

Do you need help tracking custom events? Read the documentation or send us an email to support@woopra.com

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