Alitalia Case Study

Alitalia increases online bookings thanks to Webtrends Optimize

The Client

Alitalia, with its head office in Rome, is the main passenger transport group in Italy and among the leading players in European air transport. The Alitalia Group provides service to 95 destinations, 27 in Italy and 67 in the rest of the world for a total of 189 routes served with more than 5,500 weekly flights. 


The airline sells its services online, worldwide, and in 14 different languages. Every month, Alitalia’s website receives more than 5 million visits, 12 percent of which come from mobile devices (80% from tablets). Alitalia registers over 900,000 transactions monthly, including check-ins and tickets sold. In Italy, one customer out of three purchases online. And for some specific routes – for example, departures from Bergamo and Verona – more than 60% of customers buy online.

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The Challenge

Alitalia’s strategic objective was to guarantee that all services offered were fully available via digital channels, in the simplest and most intuitive way possible. To increase visits and conversion rates, Alitalia needed to be sure that customers always received the right information, got exactly what they were looking for and could rely on a simple purchase process. This would ensure they stayed ahead of their competitors.

"The amount of data to analyse was so huge that existing free tools did not allow us to understand them properly, when we started working with Webtrends Optimize, not only could we see the tip but also the hidden part of the iceberg."

Nicola Arnesse
VP eCommerce, Alitalia

The Solution

Alitalia selected Webtrends Optimize – a testing and targeting solution enabling a deeper visitor engagement, greater relevance and improved conversions and revenue.

Optimize combines both A/B and multivariate test types to identify and target the most valuable customer segments. This enables companies to then target these specific segments with customised campaigns, offering real-time and relevant content, resulting in improved ROI. Furthermore, Webtrends Optimize’s experienced consultative team provides a fully managed service that supports comprehensive, best practice programs to deliver results.

Alitalia and the Webtrends Optimize team worked closely together to define processes and objectives. They carried out different tests on a certain number of pages, including the special offers page, which is the most important as it receives the majority of traffic from paid search marketing campaigns.

“Once the optimal page had been identified, we could see an increase of click-through conversions of about 6 percent – a great result if we consider that our website gets an average of 200,000 visitors per day,” said Nicola Arnese, VP eCommerce for Alitalia. “A further measurement demonstrated that the optimized page led to an increase of 500 online bookings over three weeks, which means about 220,000 euros per month, at an average Alitalia price.”

An additional three tests were carried out on the home page, until the most successful one, which delivered the highest number of conversions, was identified.

“The expertise and consultative approach of the Webtrends Optimize team enabled us to increase the number of online bookings by 7.09 percent in three months,” said Arnese. “This increase had a significant impact on our results, allowing us to stay ahead of our competitors, offering our customers the best service possible.”

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“The expertise and consultative approach of the Webtrends Optimize team enabled us to increase the number of online bookings by 7.09% in three months. This increase had a significant impact on our results, allowing us to stay ahead of our competitors, offering our customers the best service possible.”

Nicola Arnesse
VP eCommerce, Alitalia

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The Results

Over the years, Alitalia has been able to better understand the needs and preferences of their customers, through accurate profiling and improved visibility. Optimize tells them how many visitors completed the purchase process against those that abandoned the sale, enabling Alitalia to optimise their booking pages dynamically and continually improve their online conversion rates.

Another key element to Alitalia is the internal data and report sharing. Alitalia has created a dashboard for every market the company is present in, sharing number of visits, number of customers, traffic origin (paid search, organic search, social media, etc.) and customer behaviour when booking and checking-in.

“It’s of upmost importance that all our executives have access to these numbers and understand their real value,” said Arnese. “To Alitalia, a conversion in the purchase process of 0.5 percent means 25 million euros.”

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