Adoption Matters More Than You Think

Most of us talk about adoption of online tools as an important performance indicator. But are we really doing enough to increase the use of self-service, online tools?
According to the 2009 PhoCusWright’s U.S Travel Distribution Report, the industry average for online adoption is around 52 percent. If that’s the case, we have a long way to go.

Why does online adoption matter so much? Our experts estimate that one percentage point is worth $40,000 per year in savings. Do the math for your program and think about how quickly that can add up.

What affects adoption? Clearly, ease of use of the tools and executive mandates have a big impact. But educating employees about the value of the total travel program as a corporate strategy to save money might have a more lasting impact. We’ve seen that most travelers who choose to ignore the online tools have the misconception that either the cost savings are not significant or they can save the company more money by researching and buying travel options on their own. We all know neither of these beliefs is true.

So how do we change employee perception? Education about travel strategy is as important as offering a new user interface. Do your math and then share the goals, highlighting the potential savings and impact to the organization if everyone uses the tools. Policy management is meant to strengthen the company’s bottom line, not inconvenience travelers. Remind your employees again and again to get the point across.

Some GetThere customers have hit 98 percent online adoption. While GetThere would like to take full credit, the truth is those companies have strong leadership and a commitment to their travel strategy that includes adoption of the tools. As a result, they have demonstrated and made a significant impact to their company’s expense control.

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