Against the backdrop of the pandemic, Fred Olsen improved users’ experience of its website and the cruise line’s bookings increased 133%.
Although COVID had a devastating impact on tourism, during the pandemic Fred Olsen Cruise Lines had actually grown its fleet to meet its ambitious growth plans. With cruise spaces to fill, it wanted to acquire new customers as well as increase those returning.
While a much wider-scale redesign of Fred Olsen’s site was in mind for the future, a tactical improvement programme of its website was carried out by ELSE in 2020. Undertaken over four two-week stints, the work centred around browsing behaviours and designing solutions to lower complexity issues to improve the booking journey.
Increasing the attractiveness and engagement of the site, 17 redesigned modules went live between December 2020 and February 2021 when ‘back in service’ dates for cruises were not yet confirmed. These gave more prominence to the search bar, improved opportunities for data capture, added more excitement to landing pages and much more.
The redesigned experience – on desktop, tablets and mobile – encouraged users to stay on the site and discover cruises and collections. Pages per session increased by 20%, session durations leapt 44% and bounce rate decreased 23%. Usage of the website’s search bar also doubled, helping users find cruises relevant to them faster, and online bookings rose substantially in just nine months.