5 Abandoned Booking Myths, Debunked

Xola Team
Xola Team
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5 Abandoned Booking Myths, Debunked

5 Abandoned Booking Myths, Debunked

The term “booking abandonment” is relatively new.

In fact, the term wasn’t widely adopted in the tour and activity industry until 2016.

The traditional name for this phenomenon is “cart abandonment.” It refers to the fact that nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Meaning that consumers add items to their cart, but never complete their purchase.

Recently tours and activities operators coined the phrase “abandoned booking” to describe the unique nature of the problem in the industry.

Booking abandonment takes a high toll on tour and activity operators. On average, a company misses out on $6,923 in lost revenue for every $10,000 in initiated bookings. Booking abandonment hurts the bottom line and leaves a lot of money on the table.


Revenue lost due to abandonment



To recover that lost revenue, online marketers use a combination of remarketing emails and ads to convert their abandoners into paying customers. These types of abandoned booking recovery programs are one of the most successful and cost effective ways to get more online bookings.

Sadly, there are a few myths about booking abandonment that have developed over time. This misinformation hurts the industry and dissuades business owners from taking simple steps that could quickly boost revenue.

Luckily, ecommerce professionals have been addressing cart abandonment for more than 11 years. Millions of articles and studies are devoted to better understanding and addressing the phenomenon. Billions of dollars have been poured into software and marketing to help reduce abandonment and recover lost revenue.

Our hope is to pass that wisdom to you – to empower more business owners to face the issue of booking abandonment and increase online bookings.

Myth #1: Nobody Abandons My Bookings

This myth often comes in the form of the statement: “None of my customers have complained or cancelled a booking, so I don’t have booking abandonment.”

The truth is: the people who abandon your booking process are not your customers. They almost become customers, but leave the checkout process before making a purchase.

Often they leave silently. Either they give up on the purchase or defect to one of your competitors.

A well built abandoned booking recovery program will help you identify your cart abandoners, engage them in a conversation, and convert them into paying customers.

Abandoned Bookings


Myth #2: Checkout Quality Doesn’t Affect Abandonment

According to a Baymard Institute study that included thousands of people who abandoned their online shopping carts, nearly half reported checkout related issues as the reason for abandonment.

The Baymard Institute also found that improvements to the checkout design alone can boost conversion rates by an average of 35.26%

Xola’s responsive checkout was designed with usability and form fatigue in mind to ensure it is streamlined. As a result, Xola’s checkout conversion rate (as of July 2017) is nearly 10% higher than that of the average Baymard Institute optimized checkout.

Conversion Rates by Checkout Type

Myth #3: If They Had Trouble Booking, They Would Call Me

People who abandon bookings rarely reach out to the provider. Unless you’re actively soliciting feedback from abandoners, you should expect to receive little to no response.

Even frustrated buyers, who may have experienced major checkout issues, will rarely contact you. Instead, they will often defect to a competitor with an easier checkout process.

Frustrated Buyer

Myth #4: Abandoned Bookings Don’t Impact My Business

The negative impact of abandoned bookings is often hard to measure because most visitors abandon without telling you. However, research teaches us that the average company can expect to lose$6,923 in lost revenue for every $10,000 in initiated bookings.

At Xola our customers typically see an average of 8-12% of bookings come from recovered bookings.

We know that a 10% increase in bookings can have a massive impact on your business. That’s why, at Xola, we built the first fully automated abandoned booking email recovery program for tour and activity companies, and continue to lead the industry in abandoned booking prevention and recovery.


Growth with an Abandoned Booking Recovery Program

Want to learn more? Schedule a preliminary call today!

Myth #5: A Recovery Program Isn’t Worth The Investment

Abandoned booking recovery campaigns provide one of the highest returns on investment (ROI). And they’re much easier to manage than most other marketing channels.

Unlike AdWords campaigns (for example) which average a measly conversion rate of 0.89% for Display and 2.79% for Search, an abandoned booking email boasts an 8-12% conversion rate, making it nearly 10X as effective.


Abandoned Booking Email Benchmark Conversion Rates

Even better, abandoned booking programs are much more cost-effective. Unlike pay-per-click campaigns, the cost is fixed and does not increase as you grow your business.


The data is clear: cart abandonment is real. And it isn’t going away anytime soon. Luckily, there are extremely effective ways to recover your lost bookings and quickly boost online revenue.

In our guide, The Complete Abandoned Booking Recovery Guide, we show you the steps top performing marketers take to build their own abandoned booking recovery programs.

Download The Complete Abandoned Booking Guide


Writer Xola Team

Xola Team

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