GROWING THE NUMBER OF RESERVATIONS FROM CO-OP MEMBERS
One of the key objectives for 2017 was to make it easier for co-op members to make a hotel reservation and to improve customer identification online. By developing SOK’s S-identification service, the conversion rate of customers logged in as co-op members was raised to 18 per cent, meaning nearly every one in five made a reservation.
IMPROVING THE USABILITY OF THE SERVICE ON MOBILE DEVICES
As the number of smartphone purchases continued to increase, the Sokos Hotels online service needed to become more user-friendly for mobile users. Numerous measures to improve mobile use yielded amazing results: the reworking increased online mobile phone reservations by 55 per cent.
ENHANCING THE RESERVATION PIPELINE
Another clear objective for 2017 was to develop the reservation pipeline to be a seamless and user-friendly system. The aim was to make it even easier to reserve a room and compare options, and this paid off: over 60 per cent of the Sokoshotels.fi users who move to the reservation pipeline from the availability search will also reserve a room.
Among the most popular starting pages for the customer path are the city pages that were also radically updated. Now the city pages allow the viewing of a city’s offering at a glance, and the results page allows the user to compare rooms with prices and features without loading separate pages. One tool used in the development of the Sokoshotels.fi online service is A/B testing. The test versions have produced significant improvements in, for example, turning offer page views into reserved rooms and increasing the probability of a user filling out a form on a page.
The updates make it easier for users to make their purchase decision and guide the user in the decision-making process step by step. This also streamlines the customer experience, as the user is not forced to compare options by switching back and forth between pages.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
Search engine optimisation (SEO) has been an important part of the Sokoshotels.fi website development process. Every time a new page structure or template is designed, it is optimised for search engines. This means taking into account technical factors and analysing the users’ needs.
By analysing users’ searches in search engines, terms and word pairs important to customers have been discovered and used as guidelines in website development. Popular search terms like “hotel + check-in” and “hotel + parking” have prompted the creation of matching pages on the website. The layout of the website has also been changed so that its users can find their most frequently sought things through the user interface without using Google.
Content creation also takes SEO into account: content is created based on users’ search terms for hospitality industry content online.
Over 60 per cent of the Sokoshotels.fi users who move to the reservation pipeline from the availability search will also reserve a room.