November 20, 2023

Driving Growth Through UI Enhancements

Today’s travel planner has hundreds of options when researching and booking a trip. With such a crowded ecosystem, loyalty brands in the travel industry must deliver a best-in-class user experience to capture a customer and win a booking - or else risk losing that potential booking to a competitor.  

As the number of travelers continues to climb dramatically post-COVID, customers want to feel confident that they have flexibility when booking hotels and planning travel. That’s why the Rocket Travel by Agoda team works closely with our partners to leverage our travel platforms’ user experience to boost confidence and drive bookings. 

A positive user experience (UX) is a direct reflection of an aesthetic user interface (UI) design where colors, animations, typography, buttons, and icons work together to facilitate an end result. Our teams recently dove deep into customer behaviors on our travel platforms and uncovered an opportunity to adjust the free cancellation callout for certain hotel properties and optimize the header navigation to create a seamless and more confident booking experience, resulting in a combined conversions lift of 4.6%.

User interface testing to drive booking confidence and conversions

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When planning strategic UI enhancements, it’s essential to collect feedback from users around the world, ensuring enhancements will improve the experience and conversion rates for the widest group of customers. Experiments led by design provide the opportunity to analyze user behavior changes in real-time from actual customer interactions, quickly identifying the strategic optimizations that yield a positive result and a strong return on investment. As a global company, Rocket Travel by Agoda is uniquely positioned to capture diverse customer feedback worldwide, delivering fast and informative results that can be leveraged on behalf of our partners to improve performance.

Free cancellation

In a recent design-led experiment on the search results page of our platforms, our team aimed at drawing users' attention to the hotel properties that offer free cancellation rooms - a major benefit for travelers in the post-COVID era. 

By updating the styling from a gray box with black font to a green box with green font and adding a checkmark icon, our team hypothesized this UI enhancement would allow customers to more easily identify hotel options offering free cancellation, boosting conversion rates. 

The experiment was live for 17 days and drove a 2.4% conversion lift across all participating partners. Through this test, we saw travelers responding favorably to these UI optimizations,  locating free cancellation rooms faster, and generating increased conversion rates for our partners.

In-depth consumer journeys drive engagement throughout every phase of the customer lifecycle. A robust suite of transactional emails ensure customers have all the information needed at their fingertips from booking, to check-in, and post-trip. Dynamic cross-sell strategies allow us to drive high attach rates with other travel products offered by our partners, generating incremental bookings and boosting the value of each trip, and abandoned search and welcome series ensures customers understand the value of our partners’ travel platforms and stay loyal to our partners’ brands.
Personalized content leveraged throughout our emails, delivering a unique experience for the consumer. Our personalized email communications ensure each customer has all the information they need throughout their travels, easy ways to contact our customer loyalty team for assistance, and suggest travel destinations based on their personal travel preferences. This adds a level of convenience to the consumer experience and drives engagement with our partners’ brands.
Utilizing AI is quickly becoming a cornerstone of email marketing. Using artificial intelligence allows our marketing teams to quickly drive innovation through A/B experimentation. In testing, we have found it to be very effective at driving results and are developing new ways to leverage this emerging technology as email marketing services continue to expand.
Segmenting audiences based on previous engagement data to deliver new messages to the customer and drive continued engagement with our white label platforms.
Robust reporting enables us to continually optimize the performance of our campaigns, and keep partners informed of success and areas of opportunity at every phase of a partnership.

Persistent header

To further refine our platform design, the Rocket Travel team developed a second test to monitor the impact of an enhanced header feature. The enhanced header includes a menu of clickable options that persists at the top of the screen as a customer scrolls through the page. This persistent (or “sticky”) header allows users to quickly access important tools as they browse hotel options,  allowing them to easily learn more about a specific hotel, such as the property overview, room options, amenities, guest policies, and guest reviews. 

This experiment increased conversions by more than 7% for some partners, delivering substantial increases in incremental bookings for them. This test also confirmed that the new navigation experience was preferred by the global customer base served by our partners.

User interface testing at scale across multiple travel platforms gives brands the data-driven insights and tools they need to produce actionable solutions. The optimized UI design we deliver to our white-label partners empowers customers with easy-to-use features and allows them to gather information quickly and confidently. This ultimately improves their booking experience and drives significant growth for loyalty brands' bottom line. In a world where millions of brands are competing for consumers’ attention, we are evolving our platforms to anticipate and exceed our traveler's expectations and create best-in-class user experiences for our partners that deliver results.

About the author

Tim Marron is the VP of Product with more than 10 years of experience leading data-obsessed product management teams across multiple industries. He has led numerous A|B testing functions and has a passion for applying scientific thinking and data to software development.

November 20, 2023

Driving Growth Through UI Enhancements

Today’s travel planner has hundreds of options when researching and booking a trip. With such a crowded ecosystem, loyalty brands in the travel industry must deliver a best-in-class user experience to capture a customer and win a booking - or else risk losing that potential booking to a competitor.  

As the number of travelers continues to climb dramatically post-COVID, customers want to feel confident that they have flexibility when booking hotels and planning travel. That’s why the Rocket Travel by Agoda team works closely with our partners to leverage our travel platforms’ user experience to boost confidence and drive bookings. 

A positive user experience (UX) is a direct reflection of an aesthetic user interface (UI) design where colors, animations, typography, buttons, and icons work together to facilitate an end result. Our teams recently dove deep into customer behaviors on our travel platforms and uncovered an opportunity to adjust the free cancellation callout for certain hotel properties and optimize the header navigation to create a seamless and more confident booking experience, resulting in a combined conversions lift of 4.6%.

User interface testing to drive booking confidence and conversions

When planning strategic UI enhancements, it’s essential to collect feedback from users around the world, ensuring enhancements will improve the experience and conversion rates for the widest group of customers. Experiments led by design provide the opportunity to analyze user behavior changes in real-time from actual customer interactions, quickly identifying the strategic optimizations that yield a positive result and a strong return on investment. As a global company, Rocket Travel by Agoda is uniquely positioned to capture diverse customer feedback worldwide, delivering fast and informative results that can be leveraged on behalf of our partners to improve performance.

In-depth consumer journeys drive engagement throughout every phase of the customer lifecycle. A robust suite of transactional emails ensure customers have all the information needed at their fingertips from booking, to check-in, and post-trip. Dynamic cross-sell strategies allow us to drive high attach rates with other travel products offered by our partners, generating incremental bookings and boosting the value of each trip, and abandoned search and welcome series ensures customers understand the value of our partners’ travel platforms and stay loyal to our partners’ brands.
Personalized content leveraged throughout our emails, delivering a unique experience for the consumer. Our personalized email communications ensure each customer has all the information they need throughout their travels, easy ways to contact our customer loyalty team for assistance, and suggest travel destinations based on their personal travel preferences. This adds a level of convenience to the consumer experience and drives engagement with our partners’ brands.
Utilizing AI is quickly becoming a cornerstone of email marketing. Using artificial intelligence allows our marketing teams to quickly drive innovation through A/B experimentation. In testing, we have found it to be very effective at driving results and are developing new ways to leverage this emerging technology as email marketing services continue to expand.
Segmenting audiences based on previous engagement data to deliver new messages to the customer and drive continued engagement with our white label platforms.
Robust reporting enables us to continually optimize the performance of our campaigns, and keep partners informed of success and areas of opportunity at every phase of a partnership.

Persistent header

To further refine our platform design, the Rocket Travel team developed a second test to monitor the impact of an enhanced header feature. The enhanced header includes a menu of clickable options that persists at the top of the screen as a customer scrolls through the page. This persistent (or “sticky”) header allows users to quickly access important tools as they browse hotel options,  allowing them to easily learn more about a specific hotel, such as the property overview, room options, amenities, guest policies, and guest reviews. 

This experiment increased conversions by more than 7% for some partners, delivering substantial increases in incremental bookings for them. This test also confirmed that the new navigation experience was preferred by the global customer base served by our partners.

User interface testing at scale across multiple travel platforms gives brands the data-driven insights and tools they need to produce actionable solutions. The optimized UI design we deliver to our white-label partners empowers customers with easy-to-use features and allows them to gather information quickly and confidently. This ultimately improves their booking experience and drives significant growth for loyalty brands' bottom line. In a world where millions of brands are competing for consumers’ attention, we are evolving our platforms to anticipate and exceed our traveler's expectations and create best-in-class user experiences for our partners that deliver results.