Improve Booking Experience and Increase Revenue
DateAug 22, 2018
Take a look behind the scenes of “how we squeezed those numbers” in the booking process, improved the website booking experience and made a 39% increase in total booking revenue.
Camping Village Šimuni is one of the most amazing camps in Croatia. It is the perfect place for a vacation. Our assignment was to completely redesign the website and rethink the Information Architecture as well as the booking experience.
The redesigned Camping Village Šimuni website recorded a 56.5% increase in total bookings and a 39% increase in booking revenue, compared to the same period (February—July) last year.
First-time guests were always surprised how great the camp is in the real life. We wanted to provide them with the same experience on the web.
Preparation Before the Start
The safest way to success is to start with the project goals in mind and how they align with the customers (users).
Choose a process that enables you to properly define the audience, project and business goals before you dive into specific problems or smaller details.
Our three main user groups were:
- Families 30–50 years old (60%)
- Young couples 25–35 years old (20%)
- Friends 25–35 years old (20%)
The goal was to increase accommodation booking during the preseason and the main season. Our strategy was to bring the real Camping Šimuni experience to users, to provide them with all the essential info about camp activities, gastro offer, accommodation and to rethink the booking process.
Analysis, Tools, Insights
Before we started with the website redesign, we’ve analysed user behaviour, conducted customer interviews as well as usability and A/B/N tests. With the combined data from analytics, Hotjar recordings and results from the various tests, we found our primary focus—the booking form.
Booking form is the last standing barrier between user goal and his intentions to book a vacation on the website. It is the crucial part between success and failure.
When Everything Else Is Covered, Focus on Booking Form Details
Our goal from the definition phase was to create a new structure of the website that would be aligned with users’ expectations and needs, but our goal was to also keep the organic traffic intact after the redesign.
During the final phase of defining the Information Architecture and the structure of the website, we used our insights from User flows and attacked the form with the whole arsenal of data, insights and ideas waiting to be tested.
Based on user tests, these were the potential areas for mass improvement:
- The flow and ease of filling the form—users were struggling with inputting data
- Wording—some labels, copies and texts were not understandable enough
- Users didn’t know (or they forgot when they came to fill the form) the differences between accommodation and their types
- Significant drop-off before completing the form
- A small amount of user interaction feedback
The Ease of Filling the Form
The most important thing to do in the form completion flow is to reduce the information burden away from users, while they are providing us with their inputs. There are several strategies used to align input fields, but here I’ll be addressing the benefits of input field organization—by their meaning.
We split the form into two main parts (accommodation info and personal info) in order to provide more focus to the desired part.
The inputs were organized by their topics and meaning, while the size of each field suggested what input type and type of data is expected from user.
Change in Wording Leads to Better Microcopy
We believe that microcopy is the smallest text with the biggest impact. It is the most important factor as it defines how clear we’ll guide the user and address his concerns.
Using clear and informative microcopy, we explained to users about the optional fields, why are they present and why they matter to them. Based on the form design research, every optional input field that user needs to fill decreases the potential for conversion.
Visual Clues and Instant Access to Information Provide Guidance
The biggest problem we faced were new users who dropped out of the booking process because they didn’t know the exact differences between three main accommodation categories—the difference between bungalows, mobile homes and camping pitches. In addition to that, they had even more problem distinguishing various accommodation types while inside the booking process.
Don’t underestimate the power of visuals. It is always a good strategy to give more context and simplify the information by showing users how it looks.
We enabled users to have a clear visual representation of accommodation groups and gave them info about room sizes (not just names that give them zero meaning), but also the possibility to visually choose the accommodation type while in the process.
Tackling the Significant Form Completion Drop-Off
Having in mind how the amount of input fields affects the completion, besides cutting all the unnecessary form fields and going through multiple structure reviews, we put a lot of effort in smart defaults.
Smart defaults are a great way to reduce effort and time users need to invest while filling the form.
When approaching the smart defaults structure, we tried to get it to be as easy as possible for the user, while respecting the business goals. We knew the top 6 countries that guests were coming from and paired them with language selection and location from which they were browsing the site. Based on the smart defaults matrix, we completed the data for the users, together with fallback solutions based on their language or inputs.
Accommodation type, together with the number of guests and additional services (half board), was pre-selected based on user needs.
Small Interaction Makes a Big Difference
There’s a need for feedback interaction for every user input. By taking this approach, we are making sure that the user is always safely guided through the process. Users feel safe and in control, rewarding us with their trust in the product.
Small interaction comes as icing on a cake. When all the important parts are in place, this little part is what makes a great experience.
After we defined all of the form validation error and success functionalities, we could focus on those small micro-interactions that provide additional value to users by giving them the feeling of knowing what is “going on around”.
Break the Mountain Into Smaller Chunks and Then Reduce It to Stones
A good strategy before defining the problem is to dive into data and research. The discovery output will be much better and you can get surprising insights and a clearer understanding of the problem.
When you form your plan of attack, use the approach of breaking large chunks into smaller parts and focus on the things that make the biggest impact.
If you are willing to share any thoughts or ideas about your process or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.