How do we inspire busy people to book pre-packaged vacations in a very competitive market?

Costco Travel

Costco Travel sells vacation packages exclusively to Costco members.
This is done by using their buying power to negotiate the best value possible and
pass those savings on to their members.

Costco travel operates in the vacation packages, cruises and theme parks market. While they are the leader in cruises and theme park tickets, the vacation packages get stiff competition from other players like Expedia.

The Ask

While Costco Travel’s pricing is exceptional, the website doesn’t really inspire people to book those deals. Also, there are traditionally a lot of questions Costco members have around these offers. How do we make sure we address those answers and reduce the call volume to their support center? Design a website experience that better communicates the value of CostcoTravel’s vacation packages and increase conversions on all platforms
including mobile. Make sure designs and solutions can be merged
incrementally into the current website while optimizing the user experience.

The Approach

We asked ourselves, how can we get Costco members to see the value of these packaged deals and get inspired?

Since the scope of the project limited us to vision and execution, we took to low cost, high yield guerilla research methods and interviewed several Costco employees who were in direct contact with their membership, among those interviewed were customer service staff. We asked them what questions they usually get from their members.

We found that Costco members reason for buying wasn’t specifically the destination, but rather the experience. In addition there were a lot of questions about information that weren’t made clear on the website, resulting in an excruciating drop off rate. A lot of times agents were occupied with ‘taking members by the hand through the website. Calls like that were often long and took away any chance of upselling or cross-selling.

The Outcome

We used currently unused high quality assets and presented them in full responsive width, inspiring Costco members to envision the vacation experience.

By concisely communicating the unique selling points of the package and being upfront about restrictions, we changed the conversation that members would have with their customer representatives from questions that weren’t answered on the website to questions that could lead to value adds.

We proposed to take away key roadblocks in the user flow, especially on check-out where previously we saw the biggest drop off rate.

My Role

My role in the project was to do user research, facilitate discussions and design workshops with stakeholders, creatively solve user problems and put that in context with business objectives. I made sure what I heard and what I didn’t hear and translated that into a user experience,