Thetralineline.com anticipates a double-digit percentage rise in conversion rates after relaunching with an enhanced focus on bookings.
Ben Pearson, thetrainline.com commercial director, said the site’s focus was “to help customers find the cheapest ticket in the easiest way and we did that by rebuilding the heart of the site so customers could compare and buy two singles rather a return”.
Pearson said users “generally know what they want when it comes to their journey, which has allowed us to focus on the conversions”.
Some new features on the site were based on watching off-line customers buy tickets at railway station booking offices. The new booking path was tested for two months before going live a week ago.
“Conversion rates are 10%-20% higher than before – a big increase given the maturity of the market,” said Pearson. “However, there are still a vast number of people who turn up and book on the day of travel.”
The ongoing TV campaign was designed to address this. “We focused the message on changing consumer behaviour,” he said. “We have to tell people it is possible to book train tickets in advance and there are significant savings.”
The relaunched site includes a tools and gadgets channel with a cheapest-fare finder. “This is not something the train companies are promoting, so we have built the tool ourselves,” said Pearson, adding: “80% of what we are doing is about understanding what the customer wants, 20% is about the technology.”