Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You h...

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-Roads Touring

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-R…

Monday, 17 October 2016 08:42

Small group tour specialist Back-Roads Touring has launched its summer 2017 brochure to reveal a unique line up of new itineraries in Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, France, Iberia and Russia.

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in 2017

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in …

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:16

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced five star-studded cruises for 2017 following the arrival of its new main brochure.

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:11

Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule.

The cruise and ferry industries may enjoy a different customer profile and face different competitive challenges but there is one underpinning goal that they both share: the sale of ancillary products (from destination excursions to onboard meals) can mean the difference between profit and loss on any single journey. Bet Maguire, Senior Analyst, Maxymiser, outlines the importance of online content and customer journey optimisation to drive up revenues.



For the ferry industry, facing up to competition from low cost airlines, coach travel and the Eurostar for French destinations, it has never been more critical to boost onboard revenue; while for cruise companies, offering all inclusive packages and enticing the customer to upgrade is becoming increasingly important.

Across the travel industry there are two key ways of boosting a visitor’s average booking value – increase spend on the core product, in this case the journey or sailing, and upselling ancillaries. But what is the best way of maximising that core spend? And at what stage should companies present ancillary products and services options?

It is clearly essential to explore and optimise the way messaging regarding upgrading fare types is delivered in terms of timing, urgency and persistence. To increase the ABV of the core product, organisations should be looking at optimising the differentiation of fare types, for example by testing the effect of monetary value or benefits led messaging. Alternatively, companies can use ‘nag’ pops up or permanent banners to encourage visitors to upgrade. In most markets cultural preferences will result in measurable differences in results, especially with regards to the tone of the messaging used to promote upgrading.

There are also more implicit ways to increase ABV, for instance companies within the ferry industry who order fare types or ancillaries from most expensive to least expensive have seen an increase in revenue in our experience.

Timing is Everything

When it comes to ancillary revenue, one of the biggest challenges is correctly timing the offer in the booking flow. Getting the right presentation of options to pre-book a table in a ferry restaurant or purchase a ticket for a destination excursion can make a significant difference in uptake – but companies need to get the right balance between pushing the ‘one last chance’ reminders and providing compelling information and visuals of the ancillary offers. Certainly ‘nag’ pop-ups have proved to be very effective in persuading visitors to think again when trying to click through without having selected an extra – but companies need to avoid over-selling and disengaging the customer.

This latter point is key because both ferry and cruise companies have more than one opportunity to make an ancillary sale. Many customers will revisit the site after the initial booking to check information such as departure time and at this stage companies can offer a range of options to be added to the existing journey or package, such as spa treatments for the cruise customer.

Critically, companies can now use the detailed customer information collected during the booking process to create a highly personalised range of offers. For example, ancillaries can be packaged to fit customer demographics, such as families or lone travellers, giving each customer segment an offering that is relevant to them and that they have an affinity with. Alternatively, options can be promoted based on previous purchases or selections, reminding the customer of earlier interests and activities and, for those who travel regularly, a quick and easy booking experience.

It is also essential to consider the changing nature of consumer behaviour. With tablet and mobile traffic already accounting for a significant proportion of visitors, ferry and cruise companies need to adapt optimisation strategies now to start looking at cross-device experiences – especially since ferry companies in particular are lagging behind the rest of the travel sector with respect to this. Test results can differ vastly across devices – in a recent test for one ferry company a variant performed well across both desktop and tablet but the uplift in the primary metric was 46% larger on desktops that on tablets.


Without doubt, 2015 will see an increasing focus on mobile devices – but that should not be the only consideration. When onboard sales can account for around a quarter of total revenue¹, companies need to consider the way both core products and ancillary options are presented and grasp significant opportunities to boost revenue and improve profitability.


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