Travel Websites for Mr. White

I find it really hard to have a conversation these days without veering it to a controversial discusion on Breaking Bad’s next episode.

Spoiler Alert: I just really can’t believe Hank found out who Heisenberg really is ? And his cancer got back? WHAT! What will happen next? Is he just going to die in prison? That can’t be. The writers wouldn’t do that to us, no way. Or will they ?? ugh

ImageWhile I was googling this picture I ended up buying a Breaking Bad mug and a T-shirt. And some people say E-Marketing doesn’t work?

Going back to the main purpose of this post, Professor. Rhodes, our E-Commerce Marketing instructor, asked us to visit several travel websites and write a feedback on them in context with our class study material.

Following is an analysis for the major online travel website (Orbitz, TravelClick, TripAdvisor, Priceline) in the e-commerce market. The analysis will be around several measuring factors we covered in class:

1) First Impression:

Orbitz: my first impression when I opened the page that there was a lot going on in their homepage.

Orbitz Homepage

Their homepage does not give the “leisure time” effect, when travel websites are supposed to give.  When scrolling down there are also a lot of content such as “Hot Hotel Deals” “Popular Destinations” each in a column with option underneath them, and these options also have copy as well. As you scroll down more you will find 2 more options of “Top Hotel Destinations” and “Top Flight Destinations”.

Rating: 2 stars

TravelClick:

I liked their homepage. It was simple with great visuals. I could tell before going through the website that they target businesses more than individuals. It shows in their layout as shown in the bellow picture.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 11.46.35 AM

Although the layout is clean and sophisticated, I found it boring. It is not lively enough for a travel website, but this is me as an individual consumer, on the other hand the first impressions of businesses would not be the same as my first impression. Businesses impression have more value to them than me, as an individual customer, because as it shows I am not their target.

Rating: 4 stars

TripAdvisor:

My first impression when opening their website was “Oh, cute owl”. To me, they look more of a travel website than Orbitz. They have a simple clean search bar, with a nice picture of waterfalls. I really liked their “What are travellers saying about XX city”, it directly shows you reviews of Hotels customers  visited and pictures they have taken of those cities.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 11.54.36 AM

Rating: 4 stars

Priceline:

My favorite for this analysis, when speaking of first impression, is Priceline. Reasons to that is  when opening the website I immediately recognised who was on their page and I linked them to their funny ads I watched on TV. I personally like each of Kaley Cuoco and William Shatner  shows.  I also liked their Priceline ads too (emotional connection). They did not have to put a picture of a rainforest to catch my attention.

Their search bar was my favorite. It had: Hotels, Cars, Packages, Flights, Cruises, and More.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 12.06.05 PM

I also liked how they are wearing their signature outfits they wore in every ad.

Rating: 5 stars

2)Common Elements:

Orbitz:

Contains the 4 main elements of any website as shown bellow:

(click on it to expand)

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 12.55.35 PM

Rating: 5 stars

TravelClick:

Contains the 4 main elements of any website as shown bellow:

(click on it to expand)

Travel Click

Rating: 5 stars

TripAdvisor:

Contains the 4 main elements of any website as shown bellow:

Trip Advisor

Rating: 5 stars

Priceline:

Contains the 4 main elements of any website as shown bellow:

Priceline

Rating: 5 stars

3) Taxonomy & Product Ranking:

Orbitz:

Orbitz taxonomy did not make sense to me, there is a lot of repetition in data which makes their page layout crowded, for example when I tried choosing cars in the top navigation, in the search button box it also highlighted cars. 2 buttons doing the same job.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.05.45 PM

They should choose to either have their top navigation bar as their navigation tool of the bubble as their navigation tool.

Rating: 2 stars

TravelClick:

As for TravelClick their taxonomy and product ranking is organised and has a smooth flow.  As Shown bellow with my experience:

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.11.11 PM

 Rating: 4 stars

TripAdvisor:

When clicking on “Flights” it then gives you automatically> “Cheap Flight”(know their audience search the most)>choose your ticket type “One Way”,”Round Trip”, “Multi City”> check a box to alert you if prices go down (listen to their audiences’ needs)> choose your class (automatically checks economy)> an option for nonstop flights>after that it gives you the option to choose the flight.

Screen shot 2013-09-25 at 6.36.33 PM

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.23.49 PM

Rating: 5 stars

Priceline:

Priceline’s way of taxonomy always tries to cross-sell you packages. The process was smooth and convenient as well.

Following is my their Product Taxonomy:

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.33.15 PM

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.34.18 PM

5) Photography:

Orbitz:

Professional HD photographs in any travel websites are a given. Consumers will either feel an emotional connection when browsing your website or they won’t. Traveling can be about adventure, a life time experience, holidays, or simply business. This is why all travel websites must understand that before creating their website. They should ask themselves “To whom are we talking to?”.

 

In Orbitz case, their landing page has a picture of a flight attendant on the far right as an ad. That alone, I believe, destroyed the excitement feeling of traveling. People do not want to look at flight attendants, they want to see exotic places that travel websites are selling. A picture of a flight attendant will not sell a ticket (my opinion).

In addition, next to the ad picture of a flight attendant from Air China, they have a picture of  a woman having fun, so it seems. I like the picture, but why did they have to ruin it with so much copy on it.

 

I think Orbitz must work on enhancing the photographs on their websites.

Rating: 1 star

TravelClick:

TravelClick did a great job with focusing more on photographs to sell an idea rather than just typing it out.

With each menu button you click a picture expands with sub-menu items you can click, this was my favourite feature.

Very clean layout.

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.50.21 PM

Rating: 5 stars

TripAdvisor:

Trip Advisor balanced between copy and picture. Their homepage has a beautiful clear picture of the Niagara Falls, but I wished if the search box was not on top of the picture. If I was Trip Advisor the first thing I would do is tie the picture with a link (which they did not do). The link takes the customer to a page where he can book a ticket to Niagara Falls. I would upload a beautiful HD picture of places around the world every two week and use the same technique = An interesting, beautiful landing page + more profit.

Rating: 3 stars

Priceline:

On their Homepage they have HD pictures of their brand endorsers, I personally connected to that, but maybe if someone did not know them or had somewhat negative feelings towards them, they might lose that customer right there. This is why celebrity endorsement is always tricky.

When browsing the website and clicking on Hotels, you will find a variety of different pictures that targets different people. Picture of Disneyland that targets families, pictures of Villas on the beach of Puerto Rico that targets couples, and so on.

Rating: 4 stars. (I took a star off in case people felt lost on their homepage when looking at the actors)

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