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Results and progress of Hurtigruten web efforts

18 February, 2010

During the last 18 months the Hurtigruten webteam has launched 15 new websites(some sites are launching soon). All our major markets (NorwaySwedenUK, Germany, US, France) and many emerging markets (China, Russia, Finland) now have new websites. Our speed in launching new sites have made it necessary to upgrade our licence with Episerver, as we reached the maximum number of sites.

On February 11 2010, top management participated in an all-day strategy workshop where the goal was to define a clear web strategy for the next few years. This work is in progress and it signals that the web becomes an integrated part of our other activities.

In addition we have rolled out online booking engines to allow customer to book travel directly on the Hurtigruten websites in the UK, Norway and through our global website. To support our travel agent partners, we have introduced a travel agent solution where agents can book and retrieve bookings.

Results and progress

In 2010 customers expect the option to research and book their voyages online. Studies show that for for every $1 in online sales, the Internet influences $3.45 of sales in other channels.  This means that we need to ensure that our websites contain accurate and relevant information about our offerings and that the rest of the organization refer to the websites when speaking to people. Since we launched our booking engines in December, we are starting to see promising results.

Global online sales

The map below shows which countries customers have booked their Hurtigruten voyages online. The average booking price is NOK 7600,- and the averge age of the people that book online is 47,2 years.

Red countries represent our online sales areas

Online sales is booming

When we compare our online direct to customer sales in January for the last 5 years, we see the following graph. As we continue to develop our online booking engines, the numbers will grow.

Obstacles and opportunities

The process of launching new websites has involved people from several parts of the organization and we have learned alot during the way.  Robert Isaksen, our Global web manager has lead the efforts, supported by the global web team, Angel Moledo, Steven Macdonald and the B2X team in Tallinn. In addition Kristin Sandstrak’s loading team and Frid Fastbø’s developers have played crucial roles in getting us up and running. Our motto has been “sunken rocks are not an obstacle – full speed ahead”. Despite the changes and system limitations, we have managed to follow through and launch booking engines that generate revenue, but we’re not done yet!

What’s next?

During the next few months, we will improve both the usability and the speed of the booking engines. We will make the system more stable and we will introduce new functionality (i.e. give agents the ability to change bookings and make it possible to book port-to-port voyages less than 3 days in advance) and perform usability tests to identify problems in the booking engines. We will also work to give partners better access to use our data in their own systems(API).
To improve our online customer service, we will give customers and agents the ability to chat with us directly through our websites and booking engines. The goal is to make it easy for customers to find information and to contact us if they need help.
In the future more people will do travel research online, others will visit their local travel agency. Some people will prefer to call us, while others will use e-mail. Our goal should be to be channel agnostic, meaning that we should provide the same excellent service whether we communicate through the website, directly with travel agencies or meeting our customers on board the ships.
Our long term goals are:
  • Improve our e-mail marketing efforts ( Silverpop e-mail marketing.)
  • Ensure quality on the information in the web channel.
  • Increase usage of video on the sites
  • Further develop the “portals” to selling landing pages.
  • Surpass goal of X million NOK in 2010
  • All Port-to-Port bookings are made online
  • The web will offer the cheapest price to buy
  • Customers can contact us by phone/chat/e-mail/in person
  • One unified booking engine that’s quick and easy to use
  • All products are available on our website
6 Comments leave one →
  1. Per Heidenreich permalink
    2 March, 2010 12:16

    March 2, 2020

    Good afternoon,

    My compliments for vast improvements on ur websites. This is of huge importance to the company and we clearly see results accordingly. Keep up your fabulous work.

    Best regards

    Per Heidenreich

  2. 2 March, 2010 12:33

    Thank you Mr. Heidenreich.

    We still have alot of challenges, but we appreciate your kind words.

    Have a great day.



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