Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) is a UK train operating company. Trains run on the East Coast mainline between London, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland.
With over 16m train ticket combinations available in the UK, VTEC wanted a smoother booking experience for its customers that enabled them to find the best fares faster on any device. The site needed to be simple and able to untangle the complexity of ticket buying in a helpful way.
VTEC partnered with Episerver partner Amaze to develop a game changing user interface that ensures customers can see their fastest journey, hold tickets, and always see the cheapest tickets first. The hugely complex solution involving Episerver 10.8 and multiple data feeds from third parties including National Rail Enquiries, whose data is the source of all timetabling and ticketing information, has helped to create the site. The company added a facility to check loyalty points easily, thereby raising their profile, encouraging their use and enabling customers to benefit more frequently. It also introduced a facility to buy season tickets online – so the company’s most frequent travellers are served an experience every bit as good as the one given to less regular travellers. Other notable transformations were a ‘quick deals’ filter so customers can quickly access the cheapest fare, cheapest first-class fare or the quickest journey with the click of a single button, a number of supporting tools in the site design that help customers choose the right ticket for them depending on their needs and working with the RNIB to ensure the ticket booking tool is fully accessible (WCAG compliant) to customers with sight impairments by incorporating the ability for purchase tickets using screen readers.
The new site has delivered a 6% uplift in conversions, suggesting simplicity and clarity in booking is leading directly to increased sales. 26.9% of all people that start booking a train ticket complete the process, up almost 10% on the figure prior to launch (24.7%). The drop off rate for step one of the ticket booking engine has reduced by 30.3%. Overall site conversion has increased by 37.1% and average order value has increased by 3.8%.
6% uplift in conversions
Drop off rate has reduced by 30.3%
Overall site conversion has increased by 37.1%