this study, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), released today by the University of Michigan with e-commerce partner ForeSee Results is a wake-up call mostly for the online travel agencies, but if I were a travel supplier I wouldn't be too pleased about myself either.
It clearly shows that the low hanging fruit in selling travel online have by now all been picked. The pace is picking up as far as innovation and foremost improvement of the buying experience is concerned.
Consumer expectations have been raised by those other online categories, especially retail with companies like Amazon leading the way. The fact that it requires much more complex technology to sell a complete vacation online, especially one tailor made to customer requirements, than selling books, records, DVDs etc. is not relevant to the discussion, a the online shopper doesn't know or care.
What needs to happen, is a step-up in technology that allows for more personalization and a combination of the various travel tools that are out there but only address part of the total chain in travel research, planning and buying. The whole process has to become seamless and performed on one site, as is the case with online retail. The customer expects no less in travel and as we all know, a successful business depends on satisfying customers.