Helping Neilson Rank In The
Top 10 Global Travel Websites
Checks made monthly
Improvement in TTFB performance
Improvement in performance score
Neilson provides package holidays that are inclusive, active and fun! With approximately 60% of their total holiday bookings now being done online, over £45 million of Neilson’s total revenue in 2021 can be attributed to website transactions. Website monitoring is therefore a business critical function to ensure online revenue is protected and customers remain loyal and satisfied.
Richard Scales – Digital Product Owner, believes the challenge in website monitoring for travel websites is highly complex compared to other eCommerce brands stating…
“With holidays, it’s very different to a normal website that sells products because the products we sell have so many variations. For example, you can fly from Newcastle or Manchester, you can have two adults, three children, you can have one adult, two children. It’s always a moving target! So to check that your website is running, you need to monitor all the variations. There’s so many variables to any holiday booking.”
Neilson’s website has risen in market share of booking channels rapidly since Richards arrival at the company (from a mere 20% in 2021), so finding a monitoring solution that was advanced enough to support the website’s goals as it scales was imperative. Due to its increasing impact on overall revenue, if the website is not performing optimally, has broken functionality or an un-secure checkout, the resulting impact is monumental.
Alternate booking channels are not always available, for example call centres are closed on Sundays, and one singular Sunday in January took £250k of business via the website. Therefore, it is imperative the website is accessible 24 hours, 365 days of the year.
Previously Neilson utilised an incumbent product (Think TRIBE), however quickly realised this solution was not proactive, and didn’t have the monitoring depth to find every issue that was contributing to performance problems on their website.
Richard was tasked with finding a better solution..
“With so many variables, we had some issues with the website where things just weren’t working right. We didn’t really have any visibility when the website was not working and not selling. So I started looking at synthetic monitoring tools because I wanted a tool that’s proactive and can act as a mystery shopper – showing us why something is broken, which is not always the website, it could be back office systems like the reservation system for example where someone has loaded up the wrong flight or third party systems like postcode lookup wasn’t working – RapidSpike gives us this visibility and narrows down the issue in hand to fix.”
Neilson settled on acquiring a synthetic testing tool as a solution to their monitoring needs, so began the search for a platform that gave them the ability to monitor complex user journeys that could pinpoint problems quickly.
They decided to trial RapidSpike, primarily swayed by the option of a managed service to set up and maintain user journey scripts, allowing Richards small in-house development team to focus entirely on the development roadmap.
After utilising the free trial and tailored onboarding service to build a sample script, Ricard was impressed by the functionality of RapidSpikes industry leading platform and frictionless transfer from their incumbent tool, and decided to begin the implementation immediately.
Neilson are already benefiting from RapidSpike’s 24-hour proactive monitoring. Due to the level of coverage the platform provides, they can now query their backend systems, and are alerted whenever there is a problem that may be affecting customers or conversions, be it intermittent issues or new events.
Using RapidSpike’s industry leading data, Neilson have been able to feature in the global top 10 travel websites on the Web Vitals Index, a leaderboard ranking eCommerce websites across the world.
Neilson also use RapidSpike’s Real User Monitoring (RUM) to analyse traffic volume and page load speed (by country, browser & device!) meaning they have a full oversight of issues happening in both real time, alongside the ability to catch any issues with synthetic testing before they affect any of their valued customers.
Senior stakeholders are invested in the performance of the website at Neilson, and therefore understand the importance of deep synthetic monitoring meaning RapidSpike is now considered a business-critical solution.
Richard now feels confident that with monitoring in place they can narrow down any issue with customer journey problems, back-end solutions, and third-party performance. So far the platform has delivered 3,700 alerts, and in the first quarter of 2022 over 3.7 million checks were made across the account.
I started looking at synthetic monitoring tools because I wanted a tool that’s proactive and can act as a mystery shopper – showing us why something is broken, which is not always the website, it could be back office systems like the reservation system for example where someone has loaded up the wrong flight or third party systems like postcode lookup wasn’t working – RapidSpike gives us this visibility and narrows down the issue in hand to fix.
Richard Scales, Digital Product Owner At Neilson