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New National Trust Holidays website boosts bookings by 32% in first six weeks


Manifesto, the London-based digital agency, today reveals how it helped the National Trust to redesign and build a new responsive website for its holidays business.



New National Trust Holidays website boosts bookings by 32% in first six weeks

The project put the user at the heart of the design and has created a seamless, optimised experience across multiple platforms, which is vital for the charity, as browsing for holidays on mobile devices is quickly becoming the norm.

As the National Trust’s digital partner, Manifesto has been working with the organisation throughout its five-year digital transformation strategy, helping to consolidate its numerous web environments onto a single, stable, responsive platform. The holidays website, which launched in July, is the latest in a long line of successful projects which have resulted from this strategy.  

To deliver optimum experiences for mobile users, mobile prototypes were sketched, designed, built and user-tested before being scaled up to fit on the desktop. The new website has already seen website traffic increase by 32.38% and bookings are up 32% year-on-year within the first month. 

The previous National Trust holiday’s website was several years old and was out of touch with customer expectations and browsing habits. As a result, a huge amount of customer traffic was being directed away from the website and to the charity’s call centre instead.

"We decided to put the mobile experience at the heart when building the site to make it easy for users to book whether they were at their desk or on the train."
Jim Bowes, CEO at Manifesto



Manifesto examined distinct parts of the customer journey, as well as the more complex features of the holiday business’ sales funnel. Armed with this information, the website was re-designed to create a simple and intelligent ecommerce journey that better meets customers’ needs, whether they are using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

The new website has already enabled the charity to improve its booking journey, as well as making the holidays look as amazing as the locations are in real life. The site will be continually improved and in the longer term will enable the charity to integrate additional types of holiday bookings, marketing automation and personalisation.

Jim Bowes, CEO at Manifesto, comments: “This project has been exciting for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the National Trust is an iconic British brand, and the brief focussed on a complex transactional journey. In addition, we decided to put the mobile experience at the heart when building the site. On average 1,000 bookings are made every month using the National Trust holidays website, so we wanted to build a website that would make it easy for users to book whether they were at their desk or on the train.”

Tom Barker, Head of Digital at National Trust, comments: “The National Trust’s previous digital journey often left our audiences confused and frustrated. As a charity, we can’t sit back and neglect this vital part of the business. We have worked closely with Manifesto to rebuild our digital offering to future-proof its functionality and make it a positive experience for all users. The holidays website is the final jewel in the crown. We have finally brought all our web property onto one responsive platform, which is allowing us to focus on innovating and growing the charity.”

“The new website it is clearly paying off, with bookings already up 32% year on year and revenue up by 36%. Now that we have a more user-friendly experience, we can easily show our customers all the properties we have on offer and attract new visitors. All of this will help us on our mission to preserve, protect and share historic places and spaces – forever, for everyone.”




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