The American-based Best Western® Hotels & Resorts brand has been a leader in the hospitality industry for over 70 years, with a global network of 4,200 hotels in more than 100 countries and territories. With a strong presence in France, the group reported an annual revenue of 2.2 billion dollars in 2017, and have been an AB Tasty client since that same year.
In the hospitality industry, images are everything. Knowing which visual to place front and center could mean the difference between a click on ‘See Availabilities,’ and a bounce to a competitor’s website. For the digital team at Best Western® Hotels & Resorts, who have a mountain of photographs at their disposal, the challenge was finding a way to efficiently determine the most salient image to put front and center. Diane-Louise Gay, their dedicated Customer Success Manager, suggested they take advantage of AB Tasty’s latest dynamic widget, Image Matchmaker, to automate this otherwise lengthy A/B testing process.
“When AB Tasty approached us to beta test their Image Matchmaker feature, we said ‘yes’ right away. We definitely saw a need to automate our image testing process, since we were constantly in debates over which visual would attract the most clicks,” explained Jérémy Germain, Traffic Manager at Best Western® Hotels & Resorts.
A/B Test Idea
One of the most important page types on the Best Western® Hotels & Resorts website are their hotel room landing pages. Each is designed with an image carousel, usually featuring 6 photographs each, showcasing the relevant hotel room, exterior and surroundings. The digital marketing team was constantly debating which image should be placed first in the carousel: The picture of the cozy suite interior, the friendly-looking hotel exterior, or the colorful lobby? Or another photo entirely? Which one would attract the most clicks on ‘See Availabilities,’ and ultimately convert into bookings?
This is where the Image Matchmaker widget became invaluable: “Using Image Matchmaker was extremely simple. It was designed for marketers with almost no development skills – so essentially all I had to do was hit a button to start the test. The algorithm powering the widget does the rest, and in a few days we had our answer.”
As an AI-powered dynamic widget, Image Matchmaker was able to automatically run an A/B test for each of the landing page’s 6 carousel images. After only a few days, the winning image was determined – and it turned out to be the one to the left, a corner shot of the hotel room. The test which showcased this image as the first in the carousel generated 26% more transactions, as well as 24% more clicks on ‘See Availabilities,’ compared to the original image that had been the first in the carousel.
Don’t waste time trying to find a needle in a haystack manually, when artificial intelligence can do it for you in a fraction of the time! Automating the A/B testing process can save you time and energy when finding that crucial picture that captivates your audience.
Our product page visuals are essential when it comes to our clients’ decision-making process. Being able to test multiple images automatically to find the most effective one lets us go much further in our optimization strategy.
-Jérémy Germain, Traffic Manager at Best Western® Hotels & Resorts