How To Get Web Ready For The Domestic Traveller

April 17, 2020

Author: Jo Lee

Reading Time: 2 minutes

New Zealanders are sophisticated consumers. I’m not intending to flatter you here; I’m intending to worry you. This will hopefully grab your attention and spring you into action so you’re ready for what’s coming next for your business!

Following on from our blog on what a domestic focus is going to possibly mean for New Zealand tourism operators, we thought we’d give you some starting points to help you get ahead in the game.

With the face of tourism in New Zealand set to change, there are some simple things tourist operators can do to make sure their website is fit for purpose with the change in audience and their required shift in focus. They will now have to serve up a domestic product and pricing model to get them through the next 3-6 months at least.

Your first port of call is your website. It’s your customer’s go-to for research and if you are implementing any form of digital marketing – it’s where they are going to end up. What else do you need to know about the kiwi consumer? We book direct, and we’re highly unlikely to use OTAs (like Expedia). Why? This is our home turf and DIY is in our DNA.

So, what can you do to get web ready? Here’s a few ideas to start. Your end goal is to make your site infallible; give them everything they need to feel confident in booking directly with you.

  • Deliver a great user experience. Your entire site flow must be customer-centric, designed around fulfilling their needs and questions, and making their path to purchase seamless, informative and responsive.
  • Get booking ready. Integrate a booking system or enable online reservations, benefit from live availability and what that can mean for both parties; for the customer, instant decision making, for you, on-the-spot price flexibility to fill last minute seats. Online booking means it’s your time to break free from OTA’s giving you more room to adjust your pricing.
  • Content is king. Yip, it still is. Make sure your content is geared appropriately to this new market, including your FAQs and blogs (hint: old blogs can be re-purposed to match the new audience and boost your performance in Google).
  • Update your imagery; again – gear it to imagery that resonates with the kiwi traveller, they want to see the familiar and know that you have them in mind.
  • Google My Business. Make sure you have it, and make sure it is up to date. Don’t make your customers need to open your website and go to the contact page to find out where you are, whether you are open, or how to contact you.
  • Get a chatbot. Chatbots give your customers another channel to talk to you, it enables you to be responsive and attentive when you really need to be. Jump at every opportunity! Smart chatbots can also provide answers with no input from you, they can advise and prompt based on the page someone is viewing – delivering a real (virtual) personal experience that makes your potential customer feel looked after throughout their buyer journey.

A fantastic online experience is not a ‘nice to have’ it’s a ‘must have’. If you have any chance to compete, tick as many boxes as you can – while you have the time to prepare. Don’t leave it too late.