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Yas Island

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Turning a booking experience into a high-speed rollercoaster ride

How do you create a booking experience as fast as the record-breaking rides at Ferrari World, as epic as the slides at Yas Waterworld, and as personalized as a one-on-one with Batman at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi?

Yas Island – home to Abu Dhabi’s premier leisure and entertainment hub – worked with Horizontal Digital to rise to the challenge.

Learn how we co-created a seamless high-speed online booking experience that put YasIsland.com in pole position in the competitive travel industry stakes. The new website places holidaymakers in the cockpit, immersing them in the real-world excitement of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, while expertly curating experiences for everyone from thrill seekers to sports fans, foodies and families. 

The situation

Merging mountains to create a powerful digital landscape 

With over 165 restaurants, dozens of hotels, theme parks, sports venues and more, Yas Island is home to infinite possibilities offering endless options to choose your ultimate holiday. The ask for the new digital experience was to showcase the vast array of packages in a simplified manner and to center them around customer intent to make booking a breeze.

The team was also tasked with implementing the latest UI and UX principles to create an unrivalled customer experience. Personalization of the CX was key to putting the traveler in the driver's seat, empowering them to book their ultimate holiday.

To achieve all this, the Horizontal team faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge of merging two mountains - the existing site’s reservations system and the new Sitecore Experience Platform™ (XP) - to enable a quick and easy checkout flow. 

In order to future-proof Yas Island’s business model, Horizontal had to pivot the existing tech stack to enable the complex back-end packaging of park tickets, hotels, events and services, while orchestrating a seamless ecommerce experience on the front end. 

The response

The adventure starts on yasisland.com

The project was built on the premise that the thrill of the holiday starts the minute you begin searching for it online.  
Yas Island and Horizontal set out to create a best-in-class, commerce-ready digital destination that embodied the excitement of the physical destination and enticed holidaymakers to book island packages and return visits.   
Customer centricity places the user at the heart of every decision, and that’s where Horizontal began formulating its product plan. The discovery phase started with understanding the business goals through a series of stakeholder interviews and workshops to identify and align on the main vision of the product.
In parallel, a series of customer interviews were conducted to delve into the psychology of travelers and to gather insight into the issues they've been facing both online and on Yas Island itself. 
A deep dive into the customer's mind, the business strategy, and in-depth competitor research and benchmarking, allowed Horizontal to create the product strategy and roadmap for the future.   
The team then embarked on the implementation of an insight-informed digital strategy to deliver visually engaging UI and intuitive UX and a drastically reduced checkout time.

Everything was built on Sitecore’s market-leading technical foundation that delivers personalized, cross-channel experiences by leveraging customer data, analytics, AI and marketing automation.

Not only does the new Yasisland.com experience set a new benchmark in the tourism industry for one of the shortest booking journeys, the site also delivers personalized sessions connected to dozens of stakeholders on and off the island allowing us to curate the perfect seasonal, demand-centric holiday experiences for our guests

eCommerce Director, Experience Hub | Karan Chimnani

The results

Ramping up the conversion rate from click to cart

Visitors’ online experience of Yasisland.com has been transformed into a simple, four-step click-to-checkout flow that beats the speed of some of the world’s biggest booking engines.

Launched during the peak summer holiday period, conversion rates, sales and engagement on the new site significantly exceeded expectations as users explored the streamlined offerings.

The scalable commerce solution will allow Yas Island to create new packages and offers, staying in step with the latest travel trends and delighting holidaymakers from the moment they start dreaming about a trip to the minute they arrive on the island and beyond.

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