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Vacation Labs Blog

Product Updates: Sticky Navigation and Scheduled Reports

November 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Sticky Navigation Links on Tour Pages

We’ve added a “sticky” navigation to all tour pages. This navigation appears automatically, based on the content you add to a tour. It allows customers to navigate to specific sections of your tour content easily – especially useful when you have a lot of content on your tour pages.

Here’s what it looks on the desktop:stickynav-2

And here’s what it looks on the mobile:stickynav_mobile

Scheduled Reports

Originally, reports (like the sales report, accounting report, etc) were scheduled to be sent at the End of Day in Indian Standard Time. We’ve made a small adjustment, and now you should receive your reports at End of Day based on your local time.reports_v2

Product Updates: Add Carousels To Your Tour Websites

November 13, 2016 | By | No Comments

In the past, our customers have been able to add only a single banner to pages on their tour website. We’ve made a few changes, and now the Home page, About page, Contact page, and any other static pages can have multiple banner slides in the form of a carousel. (Tour pages always had the option of a picture gallery – so nothing changes there.) Even better, we’ve given you several adaptive slide templates that will automatically update whenever you change your product content. This will make sure that the content on your slide is always up-to-date.

You can add banner slides to a page by going to Website > Pages > (Pick any page) > Banner slides. Here’s what it looks like:
bannercreation_v2On your website, each banner will be shown for 12 seconds before the carousel moves along. End-customers can use the arrow buttons and the navigation dots to move through the slides at will, so there’s no concerns about missing anything.

banner_v3For promoting a specific tour, we’ve provided you with the tour slides. Any changes you make to the tour – location, price, or anything else – are automatically updated on the banner, so you never need to worry about it being inaccurate.
toursUse the collection slide to promote your tour collections. As always, this will update automatically to keep all the information on the banner accurate.


For coupons and promotions, there’s the promotion slide:


And if you want to show anything not covered here, the custom slide is a simple layout you can use to create a banner displaying whatever you want:custom

Product Updates: Reordering Payment Processors and Improved Checkout Pages

November 7, 2016 | By | No Comments

You can now reorder payment options

As part of our continued improvements to the payment settings, we’ve added the ability to change the order that payment options are displayed to the customer.

Why might you want to do this?

There’s a term in psychology called the default effect – when presented with a list of options, a person with no preference is significantly more likely to select the first one. If you, as a tour operator, have a preferred payment option, listing it first dramatically increases the likelihood your customers will use it.


We’ve improved the checkout page for partial payments

We noticed that for customers paying partially for a booking, the checkout page wasn’t entirely clear about: (a) the total booking amount, (b) how much was already paid, and (c) how much left to pay – so we fixed it. The new checkout page shows a clean breakdown of what’s been paid so far, how it was paid, and how much is remaining.


Product Updates: Payment processors & short address

October 31, 2016 | By | No Comments

We’ve completely rebuilt our interface for setting up your payment processors. The new design is intended to make organizing payment processors a more convenient and user-friendly experience.


We’ve also made a few quality-of-life improvements.

In some locations, payment processors require a different merchant account for each currency. To accommodate our clients in these areas, you can now add the same payment processor multiple times with different settings.

Additionally, you can now set which processors are available for which currency, or display a processor even when a currency conversion will be required. For these cases you can also set a flat-rate or percentage markup for each currency conversion through that processor.


There’s also an improved preview of the processors available for each tour:


We’ve Added Three New Payment Processors:

We’ve expanded our list of payment processors, so you can offer your customers an even better booking experience. Indian tour operators  now have the opportunity to collect payments through RazorPay or ICICI Bank, and operators in the United Arab Emirates now have the option of using PayFort.


Our Customer Checkout Has New Payment Screens

At Vacation Labs we’re always striving to improve the experience of our clients and their customers. That’s why we’re proud to announce an improved UI for the customer checkout.


You can now  give additional instructions for each payment processor. This field can also be used to remind customers the name under which the charge will appear in their card statement, in case your merchant identity is different from your brand name. As a final touch, the customer checkout now displays the final sale value and currency including all markups, so the value shown won’t differ on the payment processor’s page.

Payment step with additional messaging

The new “Short address”

We now offer the ability to display a “short address” for your tour. This can be a general location that travellers will find useful. For example, “North Goa” or “South Goa” is a better guide than “Bardez” or “Tiswadi”. Similarly, tourists in France might find “Paris” more helpful than “Place Charles De Gaulle”.


This “short address” will show up in various places throughout the storefront. The detailed street address will show up only on the tour details page.


Driving details will only be sent to the customer via email after the booking has been confirmed. Here you can see an example of the booking email, with the new short address, detailed street address, and the driving directions:


How to Increase Traffic on Your Travel Website? – The Ultimate Adwords Checklist

September 30, 2016 | By | No Comments

AdWords is a powerful tool for driving footfall to your travel website. We’ve compiled a checklist to help you maximize its impact and grow your online travel business.

  1. Are you differentiating separate campaigns and ad groups?
  2. Have you targeted your campaign properly?
  3. Are you using the most effective keywords?
  4. Have you added money to your Adwords account?
  5. Have you developed an effective billing strategy?
  6. Does your ad display ALL relevant information?
  7. Does your ad fall into any keyword traps?

Does your ad have a clear call to action?  Read More

The Tour Operator’s Guide to Mastering Google Search

September 23, 2016 | By | No Comments

Getting to Know Google’s Search Engine

Google is at the very core of the digital world and if you are an online travel business knowing the basics of it is a must to grow your travel website traffic. The internet giant has multiple products but none are more influential than its search engine. Google accounts for more than 90% of the search market in India and more than 70% globally.

Search engines like Google have two components: one is organic, and the other’s inorganic. Organic results are driven by Google’s patented search algorithm. Meanwhile, inorganic results are driven by Google AdWords, the company’s advertising branch.


Why do search results matter for online travel business?

Google is often the first place people go to search for a person, business or service. It’s how potential travel customers become actual travel customers, where people go to see reviews of your travel business, and how people know where to find you. And the list goes on.

When users type in their search, Google’s algorithm scours the web, then displays results in order, from most to least relevant. Research indicates that more than 60% of users click on one of the first three search results and more than 90% click on one of the first ten. What does this mean for your online travel business?

If your travel website doesn’t show up on the first page of Google search results, less than 10% of your online travel customer base will see your name when they search, and even less will actually click through to your travel website.
Read More