11 November 2008

Forrester says - set your site up for hunters

There are gathers and then there are hunters.

If you lay out your stall on the web - you had better be prepared for hunters. Forrester (www.forrester.com) has just put out one of their little research pieces. This one is entitled:

US Travelers And The Recession: A Glance Ahead To 2009
Here is the exec sum from their website:

"US leisure travelers cut both their non-travel and travel spending during the summer of 2008. Forrester's Consumer Technographics® data currently shows that there are more US leisure travelers who plan to spend more on their leisure travel in the next 12 months than plan to spend less. Analysis of the data shows that many of those who plan to spend more are older travelers who may be more affected by recent stock market gyrations — meaning stated intentions are subject to change. What is certain is that travelers will search for value in 2009 with the same intensity as a pig searching for truffles. To help them succeed, travel eBusiness professionals need to take three simple — and relatively inexpensive — steps to improve their Web sites' future appeal and utility."

This has got me thinking about what sellers in travel need to do during the recession.

This research is important because it points to a change you need to have in the emphasis of your message. Next week at PhocusWright there will be the Innovation Summit: (go to the PCW site for more details). I have looked at a lot of them and frankly I am not sure there is a good enough story there for many of the sites. However you be the judge if you are going on Monday. I will be listening carefully in the audience to as many of them as I can handle.

There has been a lot of emphasis over the past year on the long tail - trying to mine the ends of the spectrum. That is always a hard sell to an investor - TRUST ME on this one.

I firmly believe that a commercial website needs to be constantly updated to keep it fresh for your consumers. Now more than ever the story has to be not just "value" but it needs to be screaming BEST price and DEALS HERE. The consumer is so punch drunk with woolly sounding value that he ignores that story. If you are not focusing on this element then subsidiary and nice to haves are going to be both lost in the noise and the hunt.

Right now she/he wants a deal and you need to be merchandising to her/him big time.

So dearly beloved. No fluffy stuff. You need to be screaming price and deals. If you dont then Forrester's truffle hunting pig will be skipping your site.

You have been warned


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