Travel Republic, a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, is one of the largest and most well-established online travel agents in Europe. With over two million people booking their holidays through the website and mobile app, Travel Republic has successfully helped book hotels, flights, and travel arrangements for over 10 years.
Travel sites are notorious for having high traffic consisting of people who browse, but rarely purchase. Travel Republic needed a way to analyze user behavior, make changes that optimize the product, to keep users on their site and drive as many bookings as possible.
Andy Nyberg, Product Insight Manager at Travel Republic said he and his team needed a solution to give them “more accurate and nuanced measurements.” Mixpanel fit the bill. “With Mixpanel we’re now exact in how we measure our success and iterate upon our products.”
Travel Republic’s main priorities were figuring out how their product drove bookings and how they could use analytics to continue to improve and drive conversion rates across its web and mobile platforms.
“I don’t think we would be able to do what we do without Mixpanel. We now completely bake user analytics into any new product initiative we put out there." -Andy Nyberg, Product Insight Manager, Travel Republic
Travel Republic grew frustrated with their legacy tool: “With Google Analytics alone, we didn’t have visibility into every action a person took on our site. In order for us to get the level of granularity we were looking for, we had to constantly rebuild all our funnels within GA, costing us valuable time.”
Travel Republic looked for a new solution that could provide the analytics they needed to understand the full journey of the customer, from browsing to bookings. With Mixpanel, Andy’s team had the flexibility to measure different flows as soon as the team thought of them. Instead of recreating a number of funnel reports, Mixpanel makes it easy for anyone to select a number of events and instantly create a report that uses all of a team’s historical data.
“Mixpanel is integral to how we build and make decisions as a product team. As soon as a new initiative is finalized on our product roadmap, we instrument Mixpanel so that we’re able to measure user behavior and the product’s impact on our business goals."
Understanding how pricing impacts bookings
Like other online travel agents (OTAs), Travel Republic introduced a small ‘admin fee’ for handling deposit payments. Although the company charges a lower fee than their competition, Andy was curious how implementing this fee in-line with the industry standard would impact click-through rates.
“Initially, I wanted to see if the change in the way we’re messaging these deposits and amendment fees would harm the click-through rate from the hotel listing to hotel detail. Then, we measured if people who had seen the listing would still come back to the site and continue the booking process. We discovered that the four-day retention rate improved on average by 4%. It was extremely reassuring to see that raising our prices had no negative impact on CTRs, and we couldn’t have confirmed this without Mixpanel.”
Measuring the effectiveness of the website to drive online bookings
Measuring the site’s Navigation Bar with Mixpanel gave the team insight into how the website initiated different paths and user flows: “We wanted to understand how our Navigation Menu drove overall bookings on the site.” Using Funnels and Retention, Andy found that the “Holiday Essentials” category versus the “Holidays” category drove more transactions. With this insight, Andy’s team focused more time and resources on the best performing section.
Proof points like these gave Travel Republic the evidence to direct product, marketing, and engineering resources and priorities with confidence.
Optimizing landing page performance with analytics
In order for Travel Republic to compete with the many other vacation sites, the team needed to have the most enticing and high converting landing pages: “Our previous landing pages were just lists of prices of flights, local hotels, and travel arrangements. However, we’ve completely changed our philosophy to make our landing pages more engaging and focused on the destination. By creating inspiring landing pages with rich content, beautiful photography, and local attractions, we hoped to see visitors were more engaged and likely to click through.”
With strategy shift, Andy needed a better way to measure the effectiveness of these new landing pages. Travel Republic integrated their A/B Testing Tool, VWO, with Mixpanel and experimented with different landing pages.
“Using Mixpanel to measure our landing page tests was remarkable. We now have a clear report that answers how each version of the page performed. In Mixpanel, all the relevant teams can see side by side, over the same period of time, how each page is performing in terms of bringing people back to the website.”
“We've never been able to measure a customer's journey like this before. Mixpanel made it extremely straightforward to see what's going on."
By looking at Mixpanel reports, Andy and his team know they need to invest resources into the mobile site and app: “We discovered that booking form completion is 17% on desktop versus 3.4% on mobile.”
After discovering this large discrepancy, Travel Republic is making some changes to their mobile booking flow. “We’re going to add an additional ‘email me this booking’ button. Soon, customers will be able to email their entire cart back to themselves on another device where, as we’ve seen, they are much more likely to complete a booking form.” Andy expects to see fantastics results in their booking completion after this change. As Travel Republic transitions into the new year, Mixpanel analytics will remain critical to any business decisions they make.
“Thanks to Mixpanel, we saw an average 30% increase in retention with our new landing pages."