Brief introduction: I am setting up a website for travel agency in East Africa. Package prices are in the range of $2000-$10000 per person. Target audience is relatively wealthy people, usually probably older, because they are the biggest demographic who has that much to spare and have enough time for such travels.
My problem is I can't decide whether make a website only informational, like a brochure, or an online shop.
If it stays only informational, then the user will be able to explore all available tours and if he's interested about some tour, he can fill a quick form and then get one of representatives get in touch with him to discuss further details, mostly payment methods. An example of website that does that is here - matoketours.com/uganda/13-day-luxury-tour/introduction/
Second option is also basically an information website with all the info about tours except that booking is more automated and payments can be made immediately. However, the problem with this is that I believe most people would still like to talk with us and discuss some details before paying for the tour. Also I believe most people, especially older ones, might not be comfortable to just simply put their credit card details like they do in Amazon and pay such high amount.
What do you think, if you were potential customer how would you imagine shopping for your tour in East Africa? Any kind of feedback would be very much appreciated
If I was shopping for something like that I would probably want to chat with a rep first, just for reassurance and to ask specific questions.
For the actual site I would offer both options, eg online booking and the option to telephone book for people not comfortable with paying such large sums online. That way I could call for a chat first then have the option of booking over the phone or coming back later and doing it online.
i've moved this thread to the Business forum, as it's more of a business decision than accessibility or usability.
Having said that,
If I were shopping, reached the stage where I was ready to book and then found I had to do so by telephone, you would lose my business - for the simple reason I can't use a phone. Not everyone can - which is one reason why doing things online can be so useful. Yes, give people the option to discuss by telephone, but don't make it a requirement. As bluedreamer says, give your customers the choice. (And allow them to make enquiries by e-mail, as well as telephone, too.)
Thanks guys, I went with TechnoBear suggestion to keep all options open, that's the best!
@Brownieable - am late into this discussion, but here is what I feel should be the basic
a) a chat functionality
b) basic information online with details to contact for more details (like a contact form)
c) mobile / tab compatible
d) detailed itinerary / with more pictures - I think given the rich client base they would love to see the places they visit including pictures of their stay etc
e) online shop most likely would be out of question. But there will definitely be a payment gateway where in once a tour is decided you could generate an invoice and have client the option to pay online
Sorry for the late reply, these are great suggestions, especially chat functionality. You are right, thinking back, online shop wouldn't work too great, who would want to pay that kind of money, especially to not well-known brand.