Lastminute.com reveals inspiration e-commerce platform

by Lee Hayhurst
by Lee Hayhurst
March 7, 2012 02:37 PM GMT

Lastminute.com has become the latest online travel retailer to target an increase in conversion rates by developing an inspiration e-commerce platform.

The ‘inspire me’ platform, officially launched today following trials on the site’s City Breaks home page, has been developed with FusePump, using its data feed extraction technology.

It integrates with Google maps through an API, and includes search and recommendation tools to try to better match the product to the consumer by delivering the most relevant results.

The platform has been designed to provide inspiration for customers who arrive on the site without a fixed idea of where they want to go.

Results can be refined and filtered to match a range of criteria the customer might be looking for including shopping, partying or romance. It can also be configured against customer budgets and timescales.

Mark Maddock, UK managing director of lastminute.com, said: “lastminute.com is one of the most widely recognised brands for dynamically packaged travel and leisure solutions, enabling consumers to book and pay for a combination of products in a single transaction.

“Many of our customers don’t have fixed ideas about their destination when they’re searching online for the best deals.

“We wanted to provide them with a creatively designed search interface that’s fun and easy to use. FusePump’s data feed and referral engine technology achieves this and ensures that relevant results are displayed every time.”

Inspire me is populated using FusePump’s lifestyle product data feed containing lastminute.com’s inventory of city breaks. The conversion rate of this feed is currently around 3% of consumer click through, said FusePump.

Oliver Harkness, product manager for display and merchandising at FusePump, said: “inspire me is the first project we’ve undertaken that combines Google’s mapping API and the power and flexibility of FusePump’s data feed technology – not just in terms of having accurate product data, but in respect of innovating around how it’s presented to end users.

“While there are numerous examples of on-site merchandising applications in the travel sector, our objective was to deliver an engaging end user experience. Inspire me provides relevant recommendations every time and eliminates the instances of broken links we encountered on competing websites.”

FusePump credited use its data feed on Lastminute’s lifestyle website, which attracts 2.5 million visitors a week, with a 20% increase in revenue and 16% while sales of dynamically packaged city breaks through its widgets have increased 16%.

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