Given how crummy some airline websites are, it makes sense EasyJet is not looking to competitors for digital inspiration.
EasyJet expects to debut a new website late this year, but travelers shouldn’t expect the new version to look like every other airline’s web presence.
CEO Carolyn McCall doesn’t want it that way. Instead of looking to competitors or other travel companies for inspiration, she said recently, Europe’s second-largest low cost carrier wants to mimic successful e-commerce sites.
“It’ll be much more intuitive to use,” she said on EasyJet’s recent earnings call. “It’s very much about the user. It’s very much about making it easy to navigate, [so passengers can] very easily buy more.”
EasyJet is often compared to Ryanair, Europe’s largest low cost airline, but when it comes to websites, McCall said her airline is already “genuinely so far ahead,” that it has no need to copy other airlines. The airline told investors it already has a greater share of web traffic than any other airline in the sector, as well as well as a database of 23 million email addresses. And it brags it was the first major European airline to allow passengers to book tickets via Apple Pay.
The new website will make it easier for passengers to buy ancillary items from EasyJet, such as travel insurance and rental cars. Today, McCall said, it takes two or three steps for passengers to buy extras. But the number of required clicks will be reduced with the new site.
“It is very much about being an e-commerce site and ensuring that we’re making it as easy as possible for our customers to buy from us,” McCall said. “So that it’s one click, it’s easy, it’s convenient and you can do it from anywhere.”
According to a recent IdeaWorks survey, among large airline holding companies, EasyJet earns the eighth-most ancillary revenue in the world. IdeaWorks estimated EasyJet took in almost $1.5 billion from ancillary sales last year, putting it just behind EasyJet, which made slightly more than $1.7 billion.
With the digital refresh, EasyJet also said it will update its mobile experience and improve its ability to personalize offers to travelers.
“We already do quite a lot of personalization, but the whole area of personalization will become deeper,” McCall said.
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Photo credit: EasyJet, the first European airline to accept Apple Bay, is bullish on its digital future. EasyJet