In 2014, Mattieu Jost and his partner booked a dream vacation to beautiful Barcelona using a popular travel-hospitality app. When they arrived at their destination, the couple was disappointed — but not shocked — by the anti-gay sentiment they encountered. Only, the intolerance wasn’t directed at them in a restaurant or by an outspoken passerby. It was by the woman who agreed to host the pair in her home. When she opened the door to greet the couple, she asked if they intended to sleep in the same bed. That’s where the vacation ended and misterb&b got started.

Back home, Mattieu pitched an idea: It’s a new kind of travel and lodging marketplace, for LGBT travelers and gay-friendly hosts. Investors loved the idea and a popular tech accelerator in San Francisco took the founders under their wing. The future was promising, but their mentors at 500 Startups identified a huge hiccup in the way the team was analyzing and quantifying core metrics.

Why misterb&b Chose Mixpanel

It wasn’t until misterb&b was already fully operational that an advisor at the accelerator asked what tools the team used to track the app’s customer journey, evaluate the onboarding funnel, and test their user interface. There were no tools. They used common sense, or applied theories they picked up at previous jobs.

There’s a general understanding that if something isn’t broken, then you don’t fix it. What makes misterb&b founders so unique is that even though they were growing at record speed and adding 25 new employees each year, management recognized they were operating blindly. So the team jumped at the chance to start using the user analytics tool their mentor suggested, Mixpanel.

“Mixpanel is quite easy to implement and easy to use. One hundred percent of managers and at least 30 percent of employees company-wide use Mixpanel tools” - Francois de Landes, COO

User Experience Improvements with Mixpanel

Customer Journey Analysis Helped misterb&b Increase Conversions

misterb&b had a conversion rate they thought was pretty good. Of all the users that entered the booking funnel, about 45 percent finalized their trip and paid for lodging. But once they performed customer journey analyses using Mixpanel, the team noticed users were dropping-off during a three-step booking process. Next, they conducted A/B tests on a two-step reservation process and implemented the new design in the funnel. At that point, the app’s conversions jumped 20 points. Now, roughly 65 percent of users that enter the booking funnel complete their reservation.

A Deep Study Revealed Major User Interface Flaws

Using Mixpanel also helped the team identify flaws in the site’s UI, such as a button used to connect travelers to hosts being partially concealed. It was such a problem, frustrated users would leave the funnel. Those customers weren’t on the fence about making travel plans; they were there to book a vacation and just couldn’t navigate the booking page. As soon as the UI got a facelift, customers completed even more reservations. “The improvement to our conversions was amazing,” said de Landes.

What's next?

Now that misterb&b has achieved a lot of their customer conversion goals, next on the agenda is to focus on channel acquisition, says de Landes. “We’d like to improve our top-of-the-funnel user experience, which is still a pretty new strategy for us.” The team believes there’s an enormous amount of growth potential there. misterb&b product and tech managers have already implemented Mixpanel tools to identify their channel acquisition prospects. “If we can use Mixpanel to increase conversions by 20 percent, then we can only imagine what we’ll accomplish once we iron out certain issues at the top of the funnel,” says de Landes.