Online Booking Site Achieves Significant Conversion Lifts with Multivariate Testing on Site Re-launch
Founded by travel industry veterans with years of combined experience, AirportParkingReservations.com is able to leverage long-standing relationships with website affiliates and travel affiliates to connect with an increasing percentage of the traveling public. Due to the overwhelming interest received from airport parking operators around the country, in 2000 the company opened a new “one-stop-shopping” airport parking site catering to the major online travel reservation sites — AirportParkingReservations.com. The site has generated more than 2.6 million reservations and has become a leader and trusted source for airport parking.
After a major overhaul and re-launch of its website in late 2010, AirportParkingReservations.com noticed that some pages that previously had high conversion rates were experiencing decreased conversions and above-average abandonment rates and sought to find out why.
SiteSpect provided AirportParkingReservations.com with a non-intrusive multivariate testing solution that gave definitive answers about why conversions had decreased, and what they could do to increase them.
- Testing variations of the color and copy on the “Reserve” button produced the best combination, which increased conversions by 5 percent.
- Testing data showed that moving the security vendor logo closer to the “Buy” button increased conversions by 2.5 percent.
- Site changes resulting from testing-derived data helped AirportParkingReservations.com increase revenues by thousands of dollars per month.
Site Re-launch Leads to Reflection; Then Testing
In the highly competitive travel industry, online booking websites such as AirportParkingReservations.com exist to provide site visitors with a fast and easy way to book parking from anywhere in the world. Founded by travel industry veterans, the company offers a “one-stop” source for airport parking reservations, with the mission of helping travelers find convenient, affordable parking at more than 85 airports in the US and Canada. To date, visitors to AirportParkingReservations.com have made more than 2 million reservations.
After a major overhaul and re-launch of its website in late 2010, AirportParkingReservations.com noticed that some pages that previously had high conversion rates were now experiencing decreased conversions and above average abandonment rates. After hearing high praise about SiteSpect from an industry colleague, Andy Maclean, AirportParkingReservations.com’s Online Marketing Manager, decided to implement SiteSpect’s non-intrusive web optimization platform to determine why some portions of the new site were underperforming.
According to Maclean, AirportParkingReservations.com uses website analytics to determine where usability problems have cropped up and then uses SiteSpect to test variations of content, graphics, fonts, and font color, to find out why specific areas on the site don’t convert as high as they’d like.
“While there are free testing tools available, we needed a robust and flexible solution that could provide us with answers to our specific questions about all aspects of our newly launched site — from graphics to content to text color — to find out exactly what was going on with our users’ behavior. SiteSpect offered all of those benefits and much more,” says Maclean.
Small Site Changes Can Make a Big Difference
Seemingly small site adjustments, which SiteSpect’s testing results predicted would make a measurable difference to page conversion rates, paid off big for AirportParkingReservations.com. “One of our tests led to some surprising results,” Maclean explained. “We tested the ‘Reserve’ button that leads people to the checkout page. When we changed the text from ‘Reserve’ in orange to ‘Park Here’ in green, it increased conversions by 5 percent! This is a tremendous conversion lift from just a small change. We tested a variety of colors and font types to determine the best combination of both, but without the empirical data to back this up, you’d never dream that site visitors would prefer green over orange, or the change in wording.”
AirportParkingReservations.com now iteratively and continuously tests airport-specific landing pages, receiving more than 6,000 site visits per day, with the checkout page alone yielding about 1,000 visits per day.
“Further testing on the checkout page focused on the ‘Park Here’ button and the logo of our security provider, McAfee®,” said Maclean. “Once we moved the two closer together we saw a 2.5 percent increase in sales, which is pretty substantial when you consider that it’s ‘found revenue.’ We’d never guess that the actual distance between the two was causing increased abandonments. This was really an eye opener to us. It proved that the depth and substance of the data that we gleaned from our SiteSpect tests has guided us in the right direction, and that testing is time well-spent.”
AirportParkingReservations.com has run many tests over the past year, but the increased conversion rates resulting from just these two areas, which informed several fairly basic site updates, have resulted in an increase of thousands of dollars more per month in revenues.
Reaching a Mobile, On-the-go Audience
As for the future, Maclean will soon be working to adapt the AirportParkingReservations.com site for mobile users. Mobile web makes sense for the company, since many more people now book travel and parking from their mobile devices.
Industry research points to recent increases in travelers using mobile devices to book business and personal travel by smartphone or tablet. According to Think Insights With Google1, 70% of business travelers check into their flights/hotel with their mobile device. Almost 1 in 4 hotel queries come from a mobile phone. And a recent eMarketer report2 cites that US consumers using mobile devices just to research travel will climb from 19.7 million in 2010 to 29.7 million in 2012. The overriding goal of the site adaptation will be to make the mobile site easier to navigate from the small screen where the primary interface is touch.
“The challenge is to provide the variety of airport options to our customers without making the pages too difficult to navigate on the smaller display,” said Maclean. “In our initial mobile tests, we’ve found that the conversion rate for tablets is higher than for smartphones, but it’s still quite a bit less than our traditional website.”
1 “The Five Stages of Travel,” http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/featured/five-stages-of-travel/
2 “Mobile Travel Takes Off: Emerging Trends and Best Practices for Marketers,” http://www.emarketer.com/(S(52uinv55vwpab2mdwsgnoqyg))/Article.aspx?R=1008279