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Flight Sites Suffer Highest Abandonment Rates in E-Commerce Sector

07 May 2019 - 11:45 by Sarah Collinson

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Websites which allow users to buy plane tickets via safe shopping online are more likely to see customers abandon their baskets before completing a transaction than any other type of e-commerce niche.

This is according to a study from SaleCycle which pinpointed the problematic fact that sites operated by airlines currently suffer from a cart abandonment rate of 87.9 per cent. In comparison, across the travel sector as a whole this sits at 81 per cent, showing that there is a small but significant gap that needs to be closed.

Cart abandonment is a problem for all online stores, with 76.9 per cent of prospective purchases prevented due to this issue. However, the fact that it is especially prevalent in the air travel industry suggests that there are some underlying complications which should be addressed.

Interestingly, the time at which the lowest abandonment rates are seen is between September and December, when there are also fewer people visiting travel sites in general and airline sites in particular.

Experts put this trend down to the fact that while there may be a lower volume of customers accessing ticketing sites during the winter months, those that do head to these types of outlets will have a higher likelihood of being interested in committing to a purchase.

Overall fewer than a fifth of people who begin to research travel-related products and services online in a single session end up following through and placing an order there and then. Thankfully, the one area in which travel operators and airlines have the upper hand over other retailers is that more visitors fill their baskets in the first place, which in turn explains the skewed abandonment rates and hints at the price comparison habits that UK consumers have adopted.