Online travel agent

Five Challenges in Travel E-Commerce and Hospitality That Social Proof Can Fix Today

By | Business, E-commerce, Fit; Online Shopping, Online conversion, Online optimisation, Online optimization, Online travel agent, Social proof, Travel

In a competitive travel market, it’s important that customers are confident that they’ve made the right decision across every element of their holidays to avoid disappointment and post-holiday complaints. More confident customers are also more likely to buy, and to go for higher-ticket products.

With competition always fierce, we’re delivering social proof product messaging to travel e-tailers who have become more sophisticated in their use of digital tools to optimize website conversions and overall spend.

We’re supporting some huge online brands to use social proof messaging to help their sites with e-commerce challenges that are specific to online travel. Our real-time messages provide detail about the number of purchases and other trend information about a particular hotel, destination or packaged holiday.

Here’s five top challenges:

  1. High abandonment rates on high-end holidays

The dynamics of shopping on an online travel site versus a high street store are a challenge when it comes to convincing travelers to choose an expensive or luxury destination.

Online customers don’t have the third party reassurance of talking to a travel agent face-to-face. If they’re in doubt, they’ll churn and move onto a cheaper location or to an alternative site.

We’re also still in times of relative austerity and exchange rate fluctuations.  Consumers are very careful with their cash and while they’re are happy to shell out on small treats, high-end packaged holidays need more consideration. In these conditions, the travel sites we work with do all they can to inspire confidence while the customer is onsite.

Social proof messaging works by giving the consumer as much information about product popularity as possible. It markets big ticket holidays effectively, to give the traveler more reasons about why they’re right to choose the long-haul destination or luxury villa, and why the price is right (ratings, reviews, trending information).

Using behavioral information like “32 people have chosen Mauritius  in the last 24 hours” and “51 people rate this hotel 5*,” potential buyers have extra on-site support and third party reassurance to justify buying a major item.  By presenting a message that “1,853 people booked the Maldives in the past week” for example, you’re communicating that it’s a popular destination and that (even on more expensive breaks), they might get a bargain.

  1. You need to reduce customer conversion time  

It doesn’t matter whether the customer is buying online or on the high street, taking a long time to buy a holiday is normal. Research shows that customers might visit a holiday site nine or more times, prolonging the window between holiday research and sale.

This browsing is also likely to be spread out. We know that people visit a site or multiple sites when they’re unsure about an item, and that they’ll do this in bursts. The 2016 academic paper, The Empirical Economics of Online Attention” (University of California, Harvard Business School and Indiana University), found that online sessions are typically ‘bitty.’ They’re done before dinner, before bed or heading into work. This makes influencing decision-making even harder for online travel agents.

With small windows of opportunity to effect the sale, social proof messaging gives customers the maximum information and provides an incentive to buy while they’re on-site.  It is also effectively used to create a sense of urgency when inventory levels are shown. We work with one all-inclusive package holiday provider to show popularity and scarcity messages such as “Only 5 rooms left on this date”, “100 people have looked at this hotel in the last hour” and “70+ people booked this destination in the last seven days.”   These nudge the retailer’s customers to buy quickly.

  1. You need to increase confidence in unfamiliar destinations and reduce post-holiday complaints  

Annual holidays are a big ticket item and no one wants to make a mistake with the most important fortnight of the year. Looking over recent cases for the Advertising Standards Authority, customers’ breaks have been spoilt by misinformation about local amenities, about on-site facilities, rooming and the destination itself.

From the point of view of the travel retailer, there is also the task of attracting travelers to new or unfamiliar destinations, or to places historically considered high-risk. Millions book through online travel sites, which become the target for any complaints if things are not as described or as expected.

Social proof messaging can help by giving travelers as much product information as possible while they’re on your site, setting expectations about quality and appropriateness from the start. Taggstar can also integrate with third party review data to summarise important information according to traveler type. A family holiday buyer for example might see a message that “100% of customers rated this destination 5 * for child friendliness,” providing important pre-sales customer support.

Where travel agents have holidays in less popular or marginal destinations, Taggstar provides customers with a real-time view of (for example) how many people booked there in the past month and how it was rated. Using factual information about whether crowd is choosing an unfamiliar destination or that they are starting to return to somewhere that was once considered high-risk, our messages can encourage buyers to consider new places or somewhere that they may have discounted because of safety concerns.

We’re working strategically with online travel agents to plan an experimentation roadmap to test and prove the effectiveness of different messaging types in reducing complaints and increasing satisfaction.

  1. Fierce New Year sales competition

More summer holidays are sold in the first few months of the year – most in January. There’s also been an upswing in last minute holiday bookings in uncertain economic conditions.

In the face of this competition, the digital customer experience has become more important at each stage of the holiday buying process, from inspiration through to experience review.  One early adopter we’re working with already has a number of tools in play to improve conversion rates but specifically asked us to put social proof messaging in place before its January rush.

Our messages are shown throughout the web booking journey to influence sales at each stage. They’re proven to retain people on the site longer so that less people churn to competitors, and we also know that conversion rates in the peak sales month of January increased by 2.6% specifically because customers had seen Taggstar messages.

That’s millions in extra sales revenue during the most critical month of the year.

  1. Customers research on your site but buy elsewhere

The same 2016 academic study found that website browsing has become ‘filler activity.’ We’re online in between more important tasks like cooking, homework or socialising, but it’s not sustained. In these conditions, it’s normal that your customers might research a holiday on one site during one session, then buy on another in a different session.

Of course, you want to be the site that they buy on and, in these short windows of attention, social proof messaging gives travel agents extra power to nudge buyers to complete the sale before they jump offline.

Review data is proven to be most effective for influencing travel sales.  We’ve formed partnerships to pull credible third party evaluation and recommendations from powerful travel review sites. We have partnered with BazaarVoice and are about to add another partner that can deliver personalized e-commerce advice to support customers who’ve wavering about whether a destination or property is right for them and their party.

Read our blog: Five E-Commerce Challenges in Retail That Social Proof Can Fix Today.

Find out more how Taggstar could support your travel e-commerce business, and ask about our free trial.  Contact us here.

The leading international travel agents using our SaaS software can’t be wrong.

Taggstar Partners With Quill to Boost E-commerce Conversions for Retailers

By | Business, E-commerce, Fit; Online Shopping, Online travel agent, Retail; E-Commerce

20 March 2017 – We’re delighted to announce that Taggstar has inked a partnership with Quill, the primary content specialist, to provide online retailers with a dual offering to boost conversion rates at the all-important penultimate stage of the purchase journey.

One of the biggest challenges retailers face, both in the UK and internationally, is securing conversions – ensuring that website browsers become buyers.

The barriers to online conversion are numerous, ranging from a lack of informative product description content – with 1 in 5 consumers failing to make a purchase because of incomplete product information*– to simple customer inertia and a myriad of product choices.

This partnership unites Quill’s ability to create high-quality pre-purchase primary content (including detailed, persuasive product descriptions) at scale, and Taggstar’s ability to serve highly-relevant, galvanising messages in real-time on product pages – for example, to alert shoppers to trending, popular or low-stock items at just the right time to drive conversion.

The result is a complementary offering that enables retailers to drastically improve their e-commerce performance.

Online retailers will now be able to leverage Quill’s specialist multi-language content production service and Taggstar’s real-time social messaging in tandem. This will help them to deliver an improved experience to consumers – and, crucially, to overcome the challenge of driving high levels of conversion in a tough e-commerce environment.

Want to find out more about how Quill and Taggstar can help to improve conversion rates on your e-commerce website? Get in touch.

About Taggstar
With overwhelming online choice, Taggstar captures crowd-powered, ratings and real sales trends from others to guide customers down the purchase funnel. It’s statistically-proven to increase sales conversions of popular selling items and thousands of long-tail products by an average of 2.7%.

About Quill
Quill produces quality digital content for businesses to use on their websites and social media. Quill specialises in primary content – the critical pre-purchase information that converts browsers into buyers (such as product and category descriptions, and buying/how-to guides), driving revenue and profit by improving conversions, basket size, SEO and product return rates.


Taggstar’s Black Friday Report: The Impact of Social Proof on Black Friday in 2016

By | Business, E-commerce, Fashion, Fit; Online Shopping, Online travel agent, Retail; E-Commerce

Taggstar provides real-time, social proof messaging for e-commerce to drive increased sales conversions and revenue along with better customer engagement and a reduction in basket abandonment.

Each year we look at how our messages performed for e-commerce sites using Taggstar on Black Friday. We love to compare the role social proof messaging plays year-on-year. It’s a fascinating case in shopper behaviour to see how the transparent buying patterns of shoppers improve the sales conversions of others.

In 2016, we delivered close to a staggering 120 million real-time social proof messages for customers on some of the UK’s largest online retailers, which contributed to increasing revenue.

When there are so many bargains to be had, we can see that our messages are helping shoppers to make a quicker, more confident decision to buy. In fact, during Black Friday 2016 we saw sales conversion rate uplifts of up to 3.75 per cent based on A/B testing of all e-commerce sites using Taggstar.

For the full results and extra social proof tips to apply to your site as you prepare for Black Friday 2017, read The Taggstar Black Friday Report 2016

Comment: How to Use Social Proof to Optimize Programmatic Ad Spend

By | Basket abandonment, Business, E-commerce, Fit; Online Shopping, Online travel agent, Retail Week, Retail; E-Commerce

Yesterday we announced Taggstar’s new partnership with Jivox, leaders in dynamic personalised digital advertising. The news takes the application of our real-time messaging into a new market.  It’s a market that might not have heard of Taggstar, so we wanted to say hello and to offer a bit more in the way of explaining the concept of social proof.

Social proof is what Taggstar’s messages provide. In simple terms, when people see other people taking an action and benefiting from it, they tend to do the same. It’s the concept behind items that are trending (think last year’s ‘hoverboards’), or why people jump on a hashtag. Behind the scenes, our software aggregates product trends as people browse online.

By harnessing this data, e-tailers can show visitors to their website (or through adverts and social media posts), that other normal people just like them, really enjoy a product or service. That provides social proof that you’re providing a popular service or selling a good product.

Social proof itself is a perfect way to set internet browsers into action. If you can show visitors that there are other people out there, just like them, taking advantage of your offer and really enjoying the results – they’re likely to want to take advantage too.

It doesn’t matter whether they are on or off-site and what your action is, it might be a purchase, a download, or you simply need to get them to your site in the first place.

Think about reviews as an example: Why do you think the products with the highest reviews perform the best? The number of stars that appear on a product page give the shopper social proof that the product they’re looking at is right for them, so they buy it. Taggstar aggregates these reviews so that shoppers don’t have to click through one-by-one.

After you’ve read through this article, take a random search on Shop Direct’s website, or on Thomas Cook’s website (both Taggstar customers) . You’ll start seeing how it uses trends, reviews, hot selling items and other messages to deliver social proof.

However, browsers don’t need to be on your website to see social proof. That’s what’s exciting about today’s announcement with Jivox.  The behaviour of your shoppers and trends around your products can be pulled into ongoing digital advertising optimisation and solid marketing strategies.  Think: “Oh it must be good if they’re featuring it!”

That simple thought process makes the user more likely to convert. Even more so if the product is relevant to them. For example, if a product is trending, something a visitor has looked at before or similar to another item, the trend data can be pulled into an ad to persuade them to look again, or visit the site for the first time.

By posting positive (or even embedding) positive product trends and reviews into your adverts you’re showing new visitors that other people, just like them, have enjoyed your product or service.

Not only will this help browsers to become more familiar with your brand and begin to trust your products even more, but you can also give that same impression to users on your website.

Jivox Brings Power of Social Proof to Digital E-Commerce Ad Campaigns Through Taggstar Partnership

By | Basket abandonment, Business, E-commerce, Fit; Online Shopping, Online travel agent, Retail, Retail; E-Commerce, Social proof

Digital ad platform now features real-time social proof messaging to supercharge online sales

London, 8 February 2016 — Jivox, provider of the leading platform for data-driven advertising and marketing, today announced a partnership with Taggstar to help online retailers improve the relevancy and impact of their online display and retargeting advertising. Under the agreement, Taggstar’s Social Proof Engine will be used to pull real-time data about product popularity and trends based on shoppers’ online browsing history. The Jivox IQ Dynamic Ad Platform will then allow personalised dynamic ads to be created for Jivox e-commerce customers using Taggstar’s real-time data for better consumer targeting.

In the context of e-commerce, social proof is used by online retailers to drive consumers down the purchasing funnel, using aggregated product reviews, ratings, product trends and popularity messages.

“Large global retailers rely on Jivox’s data-driven ad platform to deliver their most demanding personalised ad campaigns. Our partnership with Taggstar allows them to personalise these ads even further and ultimately drive more revenue from their online sales channels,” said Diaz Nesamoney, president and CEO, Jivox. “Integrated with Jivox-powered ads, Taggstar’s real-time social proof messages can dramatically increase sales-conversion rates across every stage of the purchasing funnel.”

Shop Direct, the UK’s fourth-largest online retailer, recently added social proof messaging to its flagship websites. As a result, the retailer drove a massive 2.7 percent uplift in its sales-conversion rate – equating to around £14 million over 18 months.

“The 2.7 percent increase we added to our sales conversions is incredible given the scale of our retail sites,” said Jonathan Wall, e-commerce director, Shop Direct. “Adding Taggstar has been the single-biggest driver of incremental revenues in our financial year 2014/15.”

Using the Taggstar Social Proof Engine, Jivox online retail customers can now build digital display and retargeting ads using up-to-the minute social data on who’s viewing and purchasing products. And for prospecting ads, where the shopper has never previously visited a website, Jivox is able to use prior browsing behaviour, in addition to hundreds of geographic or behavioural variables – such as time of day, weather, season, price bracket or demographics – to deliver an ad recommending similar, relevant items to drive customer traffic to a site for the first time.

“Whereas people might ask for friends’ opinions when they are shopping in-store, online shopping is a solitary experience. Social proof can provide online shoppers with a virtual ‘thumbs up’ that what they’re thinking of buying is the right decision,” said Marjorie Leonidas, managing director, Taggstar. “Through our partnership with Jivox, online retailers can now increase sales conversions through super-targeted digital advertising. And even when consumers have left a site, or never even visited that site, we can drive traffic to specific products that we know these shoppers will like.”

The Taggstar Social Proof Engine is available now to Jivox online retail customers worldwide.

About Jivox

Jivox enables the world’s top brands to deliver highly personalised digital ad experiences. The company’s flagship Jivox IQ™ is the industry’s first digital advertising platform designed to deliver dynamic ads at scale for programmatic media across all formats and screens. With its unique ability to integrate first-party, audience and contextual data, the Jivox IQ platform creates personalised digital ads in real time – customised to the individual – by dynamically generating thousands of creative and messaging variations at scale. Several hundred leading brands and agencies use Jivox, including Bayer, Bose, Condé Nast,, Johnson & Johnson, Mindshare, REI, Sony, Starcom Mediavest, Time Warner Cable and Universal McCann.

About Taggstar:

Taggstar delivers real-time product messaging on retail websites to turn browsers into buyers. Our messages highlights what other shoppers have bought, including popularity, trending, scarcity and promotional messages, encouraging them to buy. Displaying the right messages, at the right stage in the sales journey, to individual customers about individual products, means that buyers who see Taggstar messages are better engaged with more confidence to complete the sale. #Taggstar is backed by Ariadne Capital.



Samantha Moore, Jivox, +1 408.712.0612,

Kate Cleevely, Taggstar, 07754 920043,

Taggstar & Tealium Sign New Partnership Agreement to Personalise Online Shopping with Dynamic Real-Time Messaging

By | Basket abandonment, Business, E-commerce, Fit; Online Shopping, Online travel agent, Retail; E-Commerce

London, 2 February 2016: Real-time, e-commerce messaging software Taggstar, today announces a new partnership with Tealium, the leader in real-time customer data solutions and enterprise tag management. The collaboration allows online retailers and travel sites to increase sales conversions by targeting shoppers with personal, live messaging providing social proof.

The partnership focuses on the intersection of Tealium’s AudienceSteam omnichannel segmentation and action engine, and Taggstar’s real-time social messaging platform.

The proposition brings together Tealium’s ability to enrich real-time digital data with offline customer data assets and Taggstar’s optimised social proof messaging engine. By sharing popularity, trending, scarcity and promotional messages, these real-time messages build online customer confidence. These messages are statistically-proven to make buyers more likely to convert.

Marjorie Leonidas, managing director, Taggstar said: “Our new partnership with Tealium allows us to continue to help online retailers to optimise their conversions. Working with some of the largest websites, it’s our job to help them with their most pressing challenges and to find new ways to make them more competitive.”

Tealium was recently ranked 46th fastest growing company in North America on Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500, growth that was attributed to the enormous benefits that organisations see when they leverage the power of their customer data to create more meaningful, relevant customer experiences.

Lindsay McEwan, General Manager of EMEA at Tealium, said: “When prospects are given a clear call to action driven by their current and historical behaviour, it has been proven that conversion rates increase. In an environment dominated by huge global e-commerce brands, it is critical that retailers take advantage of the rich, behaviour customer data to provide a personalised call to action and successfully drive these conversions.”