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Webtrends, the global leader in digital intelligence, has today announced it has helped Italian airline Alitalia increase online bookings by more than 7% in just three months thanks to its Webtrends Optimize solution and team of specialist consultants.

In today’s competitive online airline industry, offering customers’ the best possible user experience with a simple online purchasing process is key to increasing market share and revenue. This was Alitalia’s strategic goal.

The Italian airline company sells its services online in 31 countries all over the world, in 14 different languages. Every month, Alitalia’s website receives over 5 million visits, 12% of which come from mobile devices (80% from tablets). Alitalia register over 900,000 transactions monthly, including check-ins and tickets sold. In Italy, one customer out of three purchases online: for some specific routes – for example, departures from Bergamo and Verona – over 60% of customers exclusively buy online.

Alitalia’s objective was to guarantee that all services offered were fully available for the digital world in the simplest and most intuitive way possible, in order to improve customer experience, increase visits and raise conversion rates.

For this reason, in late 2011, Alitalia selected Webtrends Optimize – a testing and targeting solution enabling both a deeper visitor engagement and improved conversion and revenue. Optimize combines a complete selection of test types, (both A/B and multivariate tests) allowing companies to identify and target their most valuable customer segments, and then target these specific segments with customised campaigns, offering real-time relevant content.

Alitalia immediately set up e-commerce and IT dedicated teams, which worked closely with the Optimize Webtrends team to define processes and objectives. They carried out different tests on a certain number of pages, for instance that of the special offers page, the most important one to Alitalia, as it is the one that receives all the traffic coming from paid search.

“Once the optimal page had been identified, we could see an increase of click-through conversions of about 6%, a great result if we consider that our website gets an average of 200,000 visitors per day. A further measurement demonstrated that the optimised page led to an increase of 500 online bookings over three weeks, which means about 220,000 euro per month, at an average Alitalia price,” states Nicola Arnese, VP eCommerce, Alitalia.

More tests have been made on the home page, testing three different versions until the one which registered the highest number of conversions was identified.

“Webtrends Optimize team’s outstanding experience and consultancy approach allowed us to increase the number of online bookings of 7.09% in three months,” Arnese concludes. “This increase had a significant impact on our results, allowing us to stay ahead of our competitors, offering our customers the best service possible.”

“We are proud to work with a company like Alitalia,” states Tracie Caroopen, Director Southern EMEA, Webtrends. “Major brands across Europe increasingly understand the importance of a strong online presence and an efficient e-commerce operation to maximise revenue. However, to achieve this, brands need to understand what makes their customers buy. This is where multivariate testing, targeting and optimisation is proving invaluable. Webtrends Optimize allows brands to run tests in a live environment before the changes are applied so brands can achieve the most optimised version of their site without gambling on what will work.”

Webtrends has been working with Alitalia since 2009, when the airline company adopted Analytics, Webtrends’ platform which provides performance measurement on all digital channels. It offers insight on visitors and customers’ behaviour, habits and tastes, a key element in a strong competitive area such as airlines, where potential customers are virtually flooded by a huge number of offerings.

Over these years, Alitalia were able to increase understanding of their customers through accurate profiling and could gain visibility on how many people completed the purchase process and how many abandoned to help them determine which pages to optimise, which consequently has lead to increased bookings and revenue.

Published on: 10:35AM on 16th October 2012