Psychology Behind Online Bookings

Several studies have shown that the time people wait to see if a site is for them, is less than one second.

Online research and booking methods dominate the customer journey more than ever.  With the customer following the path of least resistance from research point to booking point, it becomes essential for sites to make the process as streamlined as possible.  The booking process on mobile devices needs to be safe and hassle free opening up exciting opportunities to target consumers on the go ideal for the caravaner or holidaymaker.


When researching, browsing and going from site to site when booking online or making a purchase; a key part of this is the assessment of trust. People want to be confident that the purchase or booking they intend making is from a website that they can trust.

Ebookers are looking for signals of trust on web pages, these include a physical address, a telephone number and an email address – all prominently displayed at the bottom of the page (where most people look for these items). When people cannot see these elements, they will either leave the site, due to lack of trust, or look around for other signals that the company can be trusted.

Central to that trust is social proof. Human beings behave in ways designed to protect them from harm. If everyone is doing something, the rest of the people around them tend also to do it. Clearly, if many people are doing something and they don’t come to any harm, then it is “the right thing to do”.

As a result, people are always looking for signals on a web page that what they are dealing with is acceptable to more than one person. They want to see that the service or product on offer is being used by many people – it is social proof that it is OK to buy.

Holiday websites which therefore demonstrate social proof – in the form of reviews and comments from previous tourists – are likely to gain more business than those which do not include social evidence.

Research taken from and Mintel Group Ltd