Evolutionary Content Management System
Travelodge is the UK’s first budget hotel company, and became the first hotel company to make budget hotel rooms available to buy online in the UK, when it first launched its website in 2001. Today, Travelodge.co.uk is one of the top five most visited travel websites in the UK, receiving approximately 1.2 million visits every week and taking 85% of all customer bookings. The Travelodge website was originally built to provide an efficient and trusted booking journey for the customer, but the increasing importance of the site as a sales and marketing channel required a more sophisticated Content Management System to help support the business in managing a complex range of needs from taking bookings through to publishing information on news and offers.
Travelodge wanted to introduce a Content Management System, via an evolutionary rather than revolutionary process, in order to make the most of its investment in infrastructure, architecture, skills and application code, whilst ensuring minimal disruption to their BAU and mission-critical processes.
Travelodge chose RDF as their partner of choice. Using a close collaborative approach, Travelodge and RDF devised a solution that fulfilled the most immediate requirements, such as enabling customers to quickly find and book what they need, whilst laying the foundations to implement an improved, more responsive platform to support all their sales channels. Key elements of the solution were:
- A product to support the long-term vision for the Travelodge website, whilst maintaining an evolutionary approach. This was done through the smooth integration of the CMS with the existing website, whilst at the same time allowing the transition from code-driven content to content managed by the business via the CMS.
- Implementation of a ‘Proof of Concept’ phase, which trialled the viability of the chosen approach in real-time, and allowed Travelodge to identify and mitigate the key risks.
- A collaborative process that delivered key changes on an incremental basis, allowing for the introduction of new processes and functionality without any need for IT intervention.
Travelodge was able to achieve the transition to a content-managed environment via a gradual approach that has also proved to be very cost-effective. The new CMS has resulted in a marked reduction in the use of IT resources, with new content brought online through a much quicker and more efficient process. Crucially, the company’s trusted and effective booking journey remains, but has been improved through improved map functionality, enhanced hotel imagery and clearer flagging of errors made during the booking journey. Crucially, the site also benefits from improved search functionality, making it easier to read, navigate and use.