Costco Travel

Launching a travel brand to the UK

We helped Costco Travel launch their business to their UK members, starting with car hire, defining and designing the experience for their online portal.

The challenge

Costco Travel is a large US-based business, offering holidays and other travel services to its members.

The Costco brand has incredible loyalty from its 92million members, and the business is always striving to offer new products to add value to members. Costco Travel has been really successful in the US since its launch in 2000, so Costco wanted to launch and scale the travel proposition to members globally, starting in the UK.

Our key objectives were to:

  • Successfully launch the UK proposition by helping Costco Travel understand the unique requirements of UK members
  • Work out how to improve the existing digital product, launch these changes in the UK and then roll back any improvements to the US website
  • Introduce user-centred design practices to Costco – whilst being very member-focused, they'd never integrated user research into the design process

The Webcredible team were great to work with and did an excellent job of understanding the needs of our business throughout the research and development process.

Rob Lerner

General Manager, Costco Travel UK

Our approach

We spent much of our time in Seattle, collaboratively working on-site with the Costco Travel team and taking them on the design journey with us. Our focus for launch was on the car hire journey:

  1. We wanted to get a solid understanding of how UK customers hire cars as part of their holiday plans and any pain points in the journey. We ran usability testing on the existing Costco Travel US car rental site to see how it compared to typical UK rental sites.
  2. Our research showed that UK customers were really image-led – they would scan images of cars for the one that looked like the best match for their needs. The most successful journeys tended to be the ones with the most prominent images of the cars.
  3. We delivered our findings to the Costco Travel team and used them as the springboard for kicking off our design sprints. We worked closely together, on-site in Seattle, to design an optimised sales funnel and align it with the process UK members go through.
  4. We rapidly created design prototypes, with a few variants for key pages, and then returned to the UK to run some more usability testing. This time we were evaluating the effectiveness of our prototypes, before iterating our sales funnel designs and user journeys based on the research findings.
  5. We worked really closely with their internal and third-party developers throughout, making sure of technical feasibility and that our designs and user journeys were properly implemented. 

The Costco team had never done sketching or worked in design sprints before, and they seemed to really enjoy the collaborative and rapid process!

Impact & results

The Costco Travel proposition and responsive website are now live to their UK members, with booking volumes steadily increasing. The US website has also seen improvements thanks to the enhanced experiences we've created.

By introducing user-centred design to their business, we've also changed their ways of working with future product development – subsequent projects have involved us running more design workshops, doing sketching and integrating user research throughout the design process.

  • We mapped out key parts of the journey and sketched design solutions with the Costco team in Seattle
  • We tested many different designs to make it easy for customers to find the right car for them
  • Our mobile-first designs served as a pilot for making the Costco Travel site responsive
  • We mapped out key parts of the journey and sketched design solutions with the Costco team in Seattle

  • We tested many different designs to make it easy for customers to find the right car for them

  • Our mobile-first designs served as a pilot for making the Costco Travel site responsive

  • We worked closely with Saga’s development team to deliver the final designs in line with their component library

Here are some more clients we work with

  • Saga Travel

    The perfect online travel experience with a 30% increase in conversion rates.

  • Travelsupermarket.com

    Ongoing program of research to help users more easily plan holidays

  • Heathrow Express

    Multichannel service design ensures optimal customer experience

  • Virgin Trains

    Ongoing partnership leads to countless conversions in the purchasing funnel

Like what you see?

How exciting, let's get started

Get in touch

Phone

+44 (0)20 7423 6320

Address

133 Park Street
London
SE1 9ED
United Kingdom






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