Offering less choice can have a significant impact on conversions, a first Bright On Travel event was told today.
The half-day travel technology conference was organised by Brighton-based CWTdigital to coincide with this month's Brighton Digital Festival. Travolution was the media partner.
Rob Sinclair-Barnes, Amadeus director of marketing, one the of speakers, said travel firms had a choice between taking a low-cost, low-touch approach to a more high-quality advice-based service.
"The ones in the middle will be gobbled up. It depends on whether you as a customer just wants the quickest, cheapest option or good service and advice."
Sinclair-Barnes said today's customers are faced with the paradox of choice, meaning many are looking for help to narrow down their options.
He cited the example of a California jam producer that is now used as a benchmark. He said the firm started out offering a choice of 24 jams for shoppers to sample and found 60% did. When offered a voucher to buy, 3% converted.
However, when just six types of jam were offered, conversion went up to 30% despite the number of tastings dropping to 40%.
"By offering less choice, they went from a 3% to a 30% conversion ratio. This is a real benchmark for how we as consumers are overloaded with choice. You can reduce that as long as customers can trust the quality of what they get."
Amadeus has recently launched Featured Results, which returns only a limited number of four results for each search based on fastest, cheapest, most popular and sponsored.
The technology is an evolution of Amadeus's big data-powered Extreme Search which offered a broad search functionality based around a wider set of customer criteria which could then be filtered.
It is being tested in beta by US online agent Vayama. "Initially they saw a 30% uplift in conversions. It's settled down now to 18%. That's our jam factory - how we take jam to the market," said Sinclair-Barnes.
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