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conversion engine

Building a customer conversion engine


Luxury travel brand Secret Escapes negotiates exclusive rates for its members on hand-picked hotels and holidays. Customers sign up to receive personalised email newsletters with the latest travel offers selected for them. Members can then click through to the Secret Escapes website or app to access curated hotels and holidays.

Elsewhen worked with Secret Escapes to evolve their native mobile app, ensuring a luxury brand experience and overcoming their customer conversion challenges – without requiring changes to their existing systems.

Increase in purchase click-through
Increase in purchase completions
4.8 stars
iOS User rating

The challenge
Addressing customer drop-off and product resilience issues

Even though its email newsletter generated high click-through rates, the business was subsequently experiencing poor customer conversion rates on mobile channels. Secret Escapes asked Elsewhen to bring its mobile user experience (UX) up to a best-in-class standard – delivering the ‘wow factor’ that customers expect.

Another key issue was around platform resilience. Each time Secret Escapes sent out an email newsletter, this caused a spike in user activity. This in turn placed high demand on the application programming interface (API) of their core system – often taking the website and app temporarily offline.

With 72.9% of all e-commerce shopping now being done via mobile devices (source: Statista, 2021), improving the mobile app’s performance and user experience had also become a priority issue for the business.

Our Services
  • MVP specification
  • Product design
  • Swift engineering
  • Node engineering
  • API design
The Challenge

Our strategic approach
Driving improvement with zero disruption to core systems

Elsewhen was tasked to transform the mobile touchpoint into a powerful customer conversion engine. We began by carrying out a UX and UI audit, to understand how Secret Escapes app users behave, and where they drop off the buying journey.

We found a variety of issues in the legacy app to overcome, including problems with search, filtering and favouriting functionality The visual execution of the Secret Escapes brand also needed strengthening within the app to reflect its luxury travel image.

While the legacy app had been a basic wrapper for the mobile website, we concluded that the new version should be a fully native app to deliver the best mobile user experience. At the same time, we knew this would have to work seamlessly with legacy architecture.

Elsewhen Secret Escapes Mobile User interface

Our solution
A new native app, enabled by advanced API middleware

Our team worked directly with the Secret Escapes CMO and CTO, to enable quick decisions, provide full quality assurance (QA) and ensure that our work would ‘plug-and-play’ seamlessly within their existing product landscape.

While new functionalities were needed, this had to be achieved without disrupting the existing systems. Using GraphQL middleware, we enabled API queries to be managed more efficiently, overcoming resilience issues and supporting the new app.

We prioritised the creation of a new iOS native app that would deliver a cutting-edge user experience. Using Swift engineering, we leveraged native capabilities to create a best-in-class UX, making it easy-for customers to-explore and buy from a wide choice of travel offers.

We prioritised the creation of a new iOS native app that would deliver a cutting-edge user experience.


The outcomes
Growing customer revenue with an outstanding digital experience

We used an accelerated Agile process to ensure the new app could launch in time for the vital Christmas and New Year season. The new app has delivered major improvements for Secret Escapes across a range of metrics.

Click-throughs from listings pages to purchasing were increased by 24.4%, while successfully completed purchases increased by 210%. The average lifetime value (LTV) of customers increased by 25-35% when using the new app.

While the legacy mobile app had been rated only 1 star on the Apple App Store, our new native app has achieved a user approval rating of 4.8 out of 5 (as of January 2022). Elsewhen’s work is now helping Secret Escapes scale its offering internationally for future growth.

Successfully completed purchases increased
 by 210%

Customer lifetime value post-download of the new app is 25-35% higher than pre-download. That improvement goes straight to our bottom line!

Secret Escapes

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