The Thinking Traveller Uses A/B Testing To Increase Booking Enquiries +33%

Carl Bleich
Carl Bleich

For long standing Bloomreach customer The Thinking Traveller, 2020 was filled with looking forward and the promise of brighter days ahead. 

The COVID-19 pandemic hit few industries harder than travel as mandated government lockdowns kept many travellers home for most of 2020 and some of 2021 as well. 

The Thinking Traveller has been voted the top villa rental company in the world five years in a row and aims to be the first port of call for those wishing to book a quality villa experience in the heart of the Mediterranean. But for the 1+ year where most people weren’t leaving their homes, that left the company with a significant challenge in re-engaging a customer base forbidden from using its products. 

The marketing communication functionalities of Bloomreach Engagement helped The Thinking Traveller paint a picture of brighter days ahead for its customers while rethinking how to target and market to them once the world was re-open and travel was again possible. 

With Travel on Hold, Marketing Efforts Had to Change

Reassure and retain. Those were two of the main goals for The Thinking Traveller as COVID-19 derailed the travel plans of people across the world. 

Bloomreach Engagement played a big role in achieving these goals.  

The Thinking Traveller strategized to adapt its communications strategy to enable more varied and engaging content to retain customers. For example, it offered region-specific content to bring particular regions to life and generate excitement and ideally more customer engagement surrounding bookings. 

While this was happening, The Thinking Traveller did some planning for when travel would eventually re-open. Rather than sit back and rely on what it had done in years past, it opted to dive deeper into the functionalities of Bloomreach’s Customer Data and Experience Platform (CDXP)

The added use of web optimization and experiments helped the company to better understand how customers were navigating the website and better inform development strategies on the website based on tested and proven strategies. This included testing to drive further villa reservation enquiries and therefore generate more leads in the sales funnel. 

The “Shortlist Guidance Card” Test

One of the areas of testing and new tactics tested was the “shortlist guidance card” that would appear next to an available villa listing for seekers in the test group. 


The shortlist guidance card was created using Bloomreach Engagement’s experiments functionality. It helps inform the seekers on the details of how to submit their shortlist of top villas they were interested in for their vacations. The Thinking Traveller hypothesized that seekers would submit more shortlists when being made immediately aware of how the function worked.

After collecting some zero-party data and giving the option to view and share the shortlist, seekers can submit their shortlist to The Thinking Traveller to receive assistance in booking their vacation. 

After a 10-day test period, the initial hypothesis was proven correct in a statistically overwhelming way. There was a 33% uplift in submitted enquiries amongst the test variant compared to the control group who did not see the shortlist guidance card. That represents a significant number of additional leads entering the sales funnel. 

The Thinking Traveller is now in the process of developing a more permanent solution in-house following the success of the test as well as working on multiple other experiments with Bloomreach Engagement that they theorize will make their customers’ experiences all the better. 

“We are always looking for ways to improve our customer experience and be more efficient with our development resources,” said Dale Bray, Digital Marketing Manager for The Thinking Traveller. “The web optimization and A/B Testing which Bloomreach provides has allowed us to not only increase our enquiries but also test whether functionality is worth rolling out permanently. We are really looking forward to what we can do next.”

Bloomreach Engagement Facilitates Customer Loyalty

Bloomreach Engagement’s web optimization platform allows you to test and deploy your ideas with a complete set of web tools. The functionality ranges from changing the visual appearance of your site to the most advanced web optimization techniques. 

Experiments allow for the easy changing of a website through a simple visual editor without needing to code. The editor supports changes like adding or removing whole blocks, adding recommendations, or inserting weblayers. Experiments can also be A/B tested, as The Thinking Traveller did with the shortlist guidance card test. 

These options for website optimization can help make web experimentation your competitive advantage. 

The Thinking Traveller chose web optimization and experiments to tweak its communication strategy and connect with customers as the travel industry entered its recovery stage. But the options Bloomreach Engagement has to help your company optimize the customer experience are far more extensive than that. 

Whether it’s retargeting, email campaigns, or another means of marketing communications, Bloomreach Engagement offers the opportunity to unify all of your customer data and deliver a connected customer experience with a single solution. Schedule a personalized demo today to see what Bloomreach can do for your company. 



Carl Bleich

Head of Content at Bloomreach

Carl works with Bloomreach professionals to produce valuable, customer-centric content. A trusted expert with over 15 years of experience, Carl loves exploring unique ways to turn problems into solutions within digital commerce. Read more from Carl here.

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