As we cross the 12-month mark of the global pandemic, we can see how vaccination programs can begin to turn the tide on Covid-19. People are starting to wonder how and when they can get away from it all this summer, and for many, it represents an opportunity to reconnect with family and friends after such a long separation. Research on eDreams ODIGEO brands shows that people want to start traveling again when restrictions disappear. In the UK, searches jumped 119% for July following recent indications that travel would start again. But to capture post-pandemic consumers, understanding the priorities is essential.
The pandemic accelerated the shift to e-commerce which was already underway. Consumers of all ages are increasingly going online to purchase goods and services. According to the Office for National Statistics, a third of all retail sales in the UK are made online, an increase of 81% year on year. This internet trend is replicated around the world, with 21.3% of total US retail sales online, a 44% year-over-year increase and the highest annual sales growth. retail online for two decades. Technology allows us to live more convenient lives, with access to information at our fingertips and the ability to order goods and services instantly from our phones – over half of our flight bookings (58%) are now carried out via mobile devices.
Consumers are looking for simplicity, convenience and confidence. After a year of disruption, travelers’ priorities have shifted, with attention shifted to flexible booking policies, Covid-19 insurance coverage, and hygiene scores. Being able to compare providers, see who provides these services and evaluate them as well as price and route options will be essential for travel, with 59% of travelers worldwide believing they have a wider choice of airlines. and accommodation providers to book with beforehand.
Although they have more time to dream of a vacation destination, consumers seek to spend time wisely and are not interested in spending hours researching trips, lining up flight schedules, or finding the best value for money. But at the same time, consumers are looking to get deals and find convenient routes, with 80% of consumers booking vacations with a travel agent online when they’ve found a cheaper or more convenient option. Holidays begin with travel, making sure it is convenient whether departing from the nearest airport, minimizing stopovers or time at stopovers is part of the experience.
Technology has a huge role to play in post-pandemic travel from digital passports or ‘green cards’ used by travelers to prove they are vaccinated or have a negative test, right through to the introduction increased automation to minimize time at airports and streamline the travel experience. Providing a service that offers consumers more convenience has been at the forefront of eDreams ODIGEO’s technological innovation in recent years, and we can clearly see how vital this investment is to post-Covid consumer restoration.