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Aurinkomatkat Suntours: Digital user experience of booking a trip and enjoying the holiday

Qvik helped Aurinkomatkat design and develop their travel application and redesign their web site’s booking flow. The new booking flow increased the average purchase value and led to 60% better conversion, and RedDot Award winner app gives Aurinkomatka’s customers access to online self-services.

“With the help of our new holiday search, we have been able to improve sales and increase customer satisfaction significantly. Even though we are not done yet, our digital sales channels are already in much better shape than ever before. I’m really satisfied with the performance of our multi-vendor development team and the way we have been able to consistently back development with real customer insights and data.”– Ilari Pohjola, Senior Manager, eCommerce Sales & Development.

Background & Goals

Aurinkomatkat (Suntours Ltd) is one of the biggest Finnish travel agencies, specializing in package holidays to seaside destinations around the world.

Digitalization has globalized competition in the travel industry global and changed customer expectations: people can now compare hotel and flight prices around the internet whenever they want, and expect a world-class user experience and great customer service while they’re at it.

This has required Aurinkomatkat to focus their efforts on improving their existing digital sales channels, implementing their new mobile strategy and changing the way their on-site destination services work. Qvik has helped Aurinkomatkat on their way towards these aspirations and their digital vision.

Improved digital sales

Our aim was to answer the ever-tightening competition in the global travel market, increase overall sales and make searching for holidays as easy and flexible as possible. These main challenges were tackled a with re-design of the holiday search and booking flow of the site.

Booking flow conversion improved by 60%

Qvik helped Aurinkomatkat with finding the initial problems in their holiday search, making customer interviews to ensure development took the right direction and designing the actual improved booking flow.

The new holiday search has achieved 60% better conversion than the old one, which has led to significant improvements in the site’s total conversion rate and an overall improvement in sales. The principal reason is that the new search makes it much easier and faster for the user to find just the kind of holiday they are looking for.

Increase in average order value

Our re-design of the way that package holidays are displayed and listed during the search managed to increase the average order value by hundreds of euros. In our customer studies, we discovered extremely varied user needs depending on the holiday type, time, passenger types and destination.

Thus, we focused on designing a flexible system capable of serving different types of customers with filtering, sorting, quick visual content and intelligent, algorithm-based product recommendations.

Increase in customer satisfaction

These changes have significantly improved the site’s customer satisfaction. The simple reason behind this is that we were able to fix exactly the issues that customers had the most trouble with.

On-site customer service and sales went mobile

Designing and developing the iOS and Android applications were big leaps towards achieving the goals of Aurinkomatkat’s mobile strategy. One target was to shift the focus of the on-site staff’s duties from operative functions towards more experience-oriented customer service.

This was achieved by creating mobile apps with features that facilitate self-service and guide customers for the entire duration of their holiday.

App chat use topped phone calls from the start

Aurinkomatkat wanted to shift their on-site customer services from costly telephone services only available during business hours towards flexible and customer-friendly chat channels. The app’s chat functionality was built to allow users to send messages to tour guides whenever they wish and get answers without needing to spend precious vacation time on the phone.

Users have eagerly welcomed this new flexible customer service channel. Chat use eclipsed the old phone service immediately during the first test period and the chat has been one of the most used functionalities in the Aurinkomatkat app.

App improved customer’s whole holiday experience

Ancillary sales got the visibility they earned

Before the era of the Aurinkomatkat app, the excursions and other on-site experiences sold by the company were marketed mainly by the guides or in a very traditional manner through paper hand-outs given out during the holiday.

We designed the app to make browsing these ancillary products interesting and informative and enable easy and fast purchasing. Mobile payments save the guides’ time and are safer than before, as they eliminate the need to handle cash or paper tickets – everything happens digitally in the app.

Push-messages give Aurinkomatkat the possibility to remind users personally about the excursions that interest them and will soon be sold out or promote the tours that need more participants. The majority of customers who were interviewed after trying out the app had not realized the extent and variety of Aurinkomatkat’s excursion offering and were pleasantly surprised.

Mobile sales through the app have been rising steadily since launch.

Increased self-service

The application works as a mobile travel guide and is a great addition to traditional on-site customer service. The information provided about the destination in the app is continuously being revised and improved as the app team learns what content the users actually use and what sort of info is most often requested from the on-site staff.

We have gathered analytics, guide insights and customer feedback from the beginning and used them to improve the application during every sprint. No wonder the customers have rated their experience in the app 4.9 out of 5 in the App Store, but also by international and national design community.

Aurinkomatkat App became a winner in App Category in Red Dot Awards and Grand One competition. The designers were also nominated as Red Dot Award winners for the service design of the app.

Aurinkomatkat projects have been carried out in multi-vendor teams, including members from Aurinkomatkat, Finnair and different vendors.

The Aurinkomatkat iOS and Android mobile applications have been designed by Qvik in co-operation with Nextage Design. Our developers were responsible for iOS and Android development. The site’s service improvements and new features were concepted and designed together with Nextage Design, with Avarko taking care of site development.

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