Virgin Holidays

90% increase in conversions followed by sustained 140% increase

The Objective:

  • Identify quick wins that will improve website performance in the short term
  • Identify longer term improvements
  • Work towards a wholly user centre designed website
  • Bring customers a truly engaging and ultimately profitable online experience

The Results:

  • 10 priority quick wins were established just from an initial expert evaluation and round of testing
  • Implementing the quick wins resulted in a 90% increase in booking conversions
  • Bunnyfoot Subsequently partnered Virgin Holidays through the ongoing development of their site, creating an optimal 'Blue sky' design, components of which were implemented as and when the technology back end supported it. This lead to a sustained 140% increase in conversions
  • Implementing Bunnyfoot's interaction designs led to upgrade/upsell targets being hit for the first time ever for flights and board basis
  • Key customer satisfaction targets were exceeded for online channel (outperforming the other channels for the first time)
  • Bunnyfoot's proven results led to being retained on a rolling 12 month contract to provide ongoing support to the main site as well as several other sites across the group

The Work

The travel sector is highly competitive and a highly interesting sector to design for. There is the obvious need for effective and efficient search and transactional components, but also the need to support the customer during their holiday selection process. This is achieved by providing appropriate features, functions and content that inspire, persuade, and that also hit the emotional sweetspot. Even the experience of booking can be seen as a key part of the holiday!

Our initial engagement with Virgin Holidays was for a tactical project aimed at improving the online experience and benchmarking the experience against competitors. To do this we performed an expert evaluation and a round of usability testing. This work quickly established that there were a number issues that needed to be addressed with high priority. 6 of our 10 priority recommendations were implemented in the two weeks following the testing and this resulted in a 90% increase in conversions in the weeks that followed.

Engagment is strengthend and concentrated with the introduction of the quick find form and map

Following the establishment of the positive effects of usability on the business, Bunnyfoot were commissioned to perform a more extensive User Centred Design (UCD) project for the main Virgin Holidays site. This:

  • established customer personas, and customer mental models which helped drive a deeper understanding and awareness of customer needs
  • analysed competitor best practices so these could be incorporated and improved upon
  • generated a new customer focussed information architecture and search paradigm
  • developed a 'blue sky' interactive prototype of the site that demonstrated the interactions that the site should support in order to deliver the best customer experience
  • assisted with implementation of components from the blue sky vision as an when was possible given back end and other constraints

Improvements made as a result of the UCD project resulted in a 140% increase in conversions, increases in upgrade and upsell to flights and rooms, and dramatic improvements to measured customer satisfaction for the online channel.

Following the UCD project we were then retained as exclusive user experience suppliers in a rolling 12 month contract which delivered ongoing 'on-call' UX expertise and design support, regular benchmarking against competitors, regular testing of new components as they were introduced, and support for other sites across the group.

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