Train ticket website sales increase by more than £1m
redspottedhanky.com, part of the ATOS platform, is an online, impartial and independent train ticket retailer for UK rail journeys. The online rail booking website provides customers with substantial savings compared to the cost of buying a ticket from the station on the day of travel. The company also runs a loyalty program, offering consumers the chance to redeem loyalty points against future train travel.
There is a significant increase in the number of train travellers seeking to book travel in advance, via the web, to get the best price possible. This is leading to increased competition among train ticket aggregators, which resell tickets from all operators at the best rate. To stand out and provide a positive user experience, these websites must be not only informative, but also functional with a call-to-action that drives customers to purchase.
The challenge faced by redspottedhanky.com was moving visitors through the sales funnel to completion. This is due to the number of steps a visitor must take from the homepage to the confirmation page if a user goes through the process via tabs.
To increase conversions, there were three goals in mind for Webtrends Optimize and redspottedhanky.com: increase the number of visitors reaching the page showing train fares, increase the number of visitors reaching the confirmation page and increase the average order value (AOV).
"The improvements to the site has had a very positive effect on every step of our sales funnel. It is interesting to see what a difference it made to the type of tickets sold, particularly the amount of customers entering railcard details."
redspottedhanky.com selected Webtrends Optimize as its solution to lift conversions through A/B and multivariate testing and targeting. Optimize provides online testing solutions that reduce abandonment and customer service issues, improve conversions and increase customer loyalty through a complete selection of test and target types, including A/B, multivariate, advanced segmentation and behavioural targeting.
The focus of the test was the search widget on the homepage. Based on insight from an in-depth customer analysis report of redspottedhanky.com’s user base, Webtrends Optimize strategically tested various elements of the widget, such as the location of the call-to-action (CTA), and the number of CTAs shown on the widget, as well as selecting date of travel using various calendar designs.
Webtrends ran 12 tests across 31 days with the aim to optimise the search widget to drive visitors to book. Previously, the widget included two call-to-action buttons – ‘search’ and ‘show lowest fares’. Webtrends Optimize found that removing the latter call-to-action, and therefore the distraction, drove lift in booking confirmations. Removing this option resulted in an increase throughout the entire funnel, giving sustainable results.
“To see an overall uplift of over £1 million following our testing to date is remarkable.”
The winning test resulted in significant lift in both revenue and sales, with a 5.76 percent increase in booking confirmations, and an expected increase in sales exceeding £1 million (approximately $1.5 million) per year. In addition, redspottedhanky.com is estimated to receive more than 12,500 additional visitors reaching the Journey Details page per quarter, with an estimated 7,500 reaching the confirmation page in the same period.
The winning design saw significantly more customers entering railcard details with an increase of 57.46 percent, and resulted in a 10.24 percent increase in open-return bookings.
The number of clicks has been reduced with the introduction of a search widget that massively simplifies the purchase process, so tickets can be booked in six clicks.
“We operate in a sector with consumers that have a short attention span, and who want to see relevant results quickly with minimal steps,” said Gareth Woodhouse, Director, redspottedhanky.com. “Our approach is about finding the best value for money, and whilst our original design layout made this obvious, we found elements of the page were distracting, and therefore we weren’t converting some visitors to purchase. The improvements to the site has had a very positive effect on every step of our sales funnel. It is interesting to see what a difference it made to the type of tickets sold, particularly the amount of customers entering railcard details. To see an overall uplift of over £1 million following our testing to date is remarkable.”
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