Affirm's travel ticket experience led to lift in average order value for CheapAir

Goal: To innovate in the travel industry by providing a modern credit alternative to convert more customers.

CheapAir.com’s mission is to make finding an airline ticket easy and affordable. They understand how critical the payments process is to achieve this goal.

“We try to give people a different way to pay,” said Gregory Samson, VP, Marketing and Business Development at CheapAir. “We were the first in our industry to transact with cryptocurrency. Affirm is another unique way we help people to pay for their travel.”  

As an independent travel company, they strive to be better, and offer more options than their large corporate competitors. They have personal travel advisors to help customers plan trips. They work hard to give customers the most bang for their buck, and give customers a travel credit if the price of their flight drops between checkout and take off.

Affirm helped CheapAir customers buy earlier and convert easier

The flight is a crucial part of many vacations that has to be paid upfront, making it a tough barrier for shoppers. And if that wasn’t enough stress, the longer a customer waits to buy, the more expensive the flight gets.

CheapAir wanted to offer a solution for customers who struggle with this push and pull of liquidity and price. A financing option that allowed consumers to pay over-time would help convert wary flight price watchers into happy travelers.

When Samson and his team became aware of Affirm’s simple monthly payments as an alternative to traditional credit, they were immediately intrigued.

“The way we looked at it, is this something that is going to be helpful for people?” Samson said.  “Will people take interest in it, will it make it easier to shop with us, and make us a more appealing option for a segment of customers?”

 

He soon realized that the answer to all of those questions was a resounding “yes.”

“If we can make it easier for people to buy the trip earlier and pay over-time a customer may ultimately save money, because as you approach the departure date the price of the trip tends to go up,” Samson said. “If they purchase in advance, the monthly payment option can be a money saving strategy, and for last minute travel, it can help travelers in a pinch.”

For those taking a last minute trip, Affirm has no restrictions on booking dates. Furthermore, Samson believes that Affirm assists in attracting certain customer segments. Forty-eight percent of loan volume for CheapAir comes from millennials and 65 percent from those still building their credit profiles. The latter group, especially, is one that may have trouble purchasing due to the inability to access credit through different means.

Leveraging Affirm as a tool to build a consumer brand

CheapAir didn’t want just any alternative credit option. They wanted one that was aligned with their own values. The complementary customer focused ethos made Affirm the right partner. By placing Affirm on their site, CheapAir could convey their commitment to providing the best services to their customers.

“Even if a customer doesn’t take advantage of shopping with Affirm, I hope they find it interesting that we provide that option, and have a sense that CheapAir is helping all types of people,” Samson said.  “I hope it’s a positive even for people who don't end their transaction with Affirm.”

CheapAir found different ways to incorporate Affirm into their marketing campaigns to highlight our partnership to their customers. They created content and emails that presented Affirm as a new flexible payment option. For example, they used Affirm’s 0% APR promotion to amplify seasonal campaigns around Thanksgiving and summer vacation.  

CheapAir.com and Affirm is a powerful combination, not just on their site, but also in their outreach. This email had an above average open rate and generated an uptick in sales.

CheapAir’s first goal was to give consumers a way to find the best flights. As they have grown, they have expanded that goal to engage and support their customers better with an alternative payment process. With Affirm, CheapAir is seeing impressive results, and their customers are taking the trips of their dreams.

About the Author

Jesse Klein

Jesse is a graduate from the University of Michigan with a degree in neuroscience and a passion for writing. She uses both skills to tackle financial technology. Jesse was born and bred in the Bay Area and has watched as technology companies came to flourish in San Francisco. She is excited to be part of one that focuses on helping people make better financial choices.

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