Luxury tour operator Kuoni (www.kuoni.co.uk) is experiencing as much as 30% uplift in customer conversion after re-launching its homepage with a design strategy that more strongly reflects the luxurious qualities of its brand.

Digital design agency Fortune Cookie developed the new design which reflects a brand development from selling travel packages to creating experiences.

The Kuoni homepage has become the site’s search tool, with inspirational imagery creating the luxury holiday feeling. It is now easier to search for theme-based holidays and to discover the best time of year to visit.

Fortune Cookie’s Head of Experience Architecture Elinor Hardman says, “We’ve created innovative, luxurious ways of finding a holiday with Kuoni. The new homepage enables customers to do initial research according to the elements of a holiday that are most important to them, such as when and where they would like to go, what sort of holiday they would like and the type of hotel they would like to stay in.”

Hardman continues, “We understand that it’s important for Kuoni’s customers to begin to engage with the feeling of the holiday experience long before they start the booking process. We have created an online experience that encourages customers to ‘feel’ their way around the site in the way that’s most meaningful for them.”

Key improvements were developed as a result of extensive user testing to find out what people ask themselves when thinking about planning a holiday.

The new design features more inspirational product information and a more luxurious user experience on every page. As a result of needing fewer clicks to find the information they are looking for customers’ conversion journeys are shorter. The result is much higher levels of uplift.

The results point to huge increases in customer engagement with increased bookings to match:

- Bookings are up 14%
- Clicks to start the booking process at various points throughout the site have increased by 30%
- Less clutter on the homepage has made the search box more visible.
- Use of the search box has increased by 20%.
- Exits from the homepage are down 28% (from 18% of visitors to 12%)

A core objective of the homepage re-design was to increase the visibility of the option to research a holiday by type rather than by destination to underline Kuoni’s brand strength of offering memorable travel experiences that are more than just transport and accommodation. As a direct result of the new design, the proportion of customers choosing to search by holiday type has risen to 86%.

While fewer people are requesting brochures and embarking on the booking process directly from the homepage, overall there were more brochure requests and more bookings made from deeper within the site. This points to a far better user experience for customers who are exhibiting deeper levels of engagement with the site content. The booking process is also easier - customers are more likely to start the process having already gathered all of the information they need to make booking their trip fast and easy.

Matt Rooke, Kuoni’s e-Business Director says, “The developments we have made are just the start of a long term process to re-position Kuoni as a lifestyle brand. The early results of this work have proved very encouraging, giving us conviction to pursue the route we are taking.”

In the next phase of development, new landing pages deeper in the site will tell customers much more about the country or type of holiday they are interested in.

About Fortune Cookie

Founded in 1997, Fortune Cookie is one of the UK’s most well-respected digital design agencies, famous for delivering beautiful, findable, accessible websites that deliver stunning return on investment. Clients include Legal & General, Kuoni, Guest Hotels, Big Lottery Fund, Arsenal FC and Amnesty International. In 2007/8, the agency’s 10th anniversary year, websites designed by Fortune Cookie were short-listed for major design awards a total of 25 times.

Further information about Fortune Cookie is available at www.fortunecookie.co.uk or contact Julie Howell at Julie.Howell@fortunecookie.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 16th June 2008