Bizztravel Wintersport, is a part of Bizz Travel Group, a leading online company in the Dutch travel industry. They create their own products and sell them directly to consumers through their websites. Bizztravel Wintersport particularly specializes in skiing holiday packages in the Alps.
Analysis of Google Analytics statistics showed that:
- Site search is used most often to search for ski village names (e.g. Gerlos, Val Thorens).
- Around 23% of visitors enter via the homepage, but the rest enter deeper into the site. They are forced to try and navigate through a country > region > village system to find a ski village.
- A visitor clicks on an average 5 times before clicking on a ski village link.
The main site navigation didn’t reflect the manner in which a visitor looked for a winter sport vacation. On clicking the the tabs on the header, visitors were taken to the region page that didn’t show the exact information they were looking for. Consequently, they were forced to navigate through a ski region layer before getting to ski villages combined with around 75% of visitors never seeing the homepage.
This is what Bizztravel’s original navigation and region page looked like:
For instance, many visitors do not know that the village of Flaine is located in the region of Le Grand Massif, so to find the Flaine page a visitor had to click through an average of 5 regions. In such a navigation system, visitors were getting lost during a seemingly simple task of finding a vacation.
To ensure that visitors were able to find what they’re looking for, we decided to create a new page header with main navigation structured to provide a simple way to find and visit target pages directly from anywhere on the site. A clear and simple navigation menu would allow visitors to reach their desired vacation faster and reduce early exits caused by frustration. The idea was that the new header would increase conversion rates by making navigation easier.
The changes to the header consisted of:
- Direct links to ski villages (e.g. Gerlos, Val Thorens, Flaine).
- Direct links to special marketing theme pages (e.g. Christmas vacations, new years vacations).
- Bizztravel’s top 10 most popular ski village recommendations.
- Add country flags in the header.
- Moving general company information and other irrelevant links to the page footer.
During the navigation A/B test, visitors were randomly directed to either the control page that showed the old header or the variation that incorporated all the design changes outlined above. The variation with a drop down menu now gave visitors information similar to what they might be looking for such as the ‘Top 10 skiing destinations in France’. This lessened the task of rummaging through the clutter of information (as displayed in the control) and made it easier for them to find what they were looking for.
Bizztravel’s winning variation looked like this:
The primary goal of this A/B test was to track visits to Bizztravel ‘s “Thank You” page (Bedankt). The winning version with the redesigned navigation got 21.34% higher goal completions with a test result confidence level of 97% as compared to the original navigation.
Now, visitors could navigate through the site easily, with an increased chance of finding and booking the vacation they’re looking for.
- The navigation menu should be designed keeping in mind user preferences. Understand what the user expects and design the menu. You can use VWO heat-maps to analyse where users are concentrating to make it the most prominent offering on your header.
- The menu should have clear sub-categories. List only the most important sub-categories, a very long drop down can overwhelm the visitor.
- All pages of the website should display the navigation menu so that a visitor can access any page from anywhere on the site.
- Pay attention to the wording and ensure that you offer exactly what you’re offering on the menu. Be specific with the text.
(Inputs by Jason Fry: Front-end Devloper at Bizztravel)