Ryanair – To do some Usability & Conversion Rate Optimisation

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I have to admit I was quite surprised to read an article in the Telegraph about how Ryanair are to become more customer orientated in the face of lower demand and a profit warning. I’m not one of those people who hate Ryanair, I think they provide a service to get from A to B and would rather have them as a choice than not.

Ryanair

It was interesting to read that Michael O’Leary has promised to “overhaul its website”. I recently booked a trip from Liverpool to Poznan (just £34, thanks O’Leary!) on the Ryanair website and there were a few glaring problems during the checkout process! I was constantly thinking how someone like my mum (+60) would find booking a flight on Ryanair, she can use email (just about) but anything more technical and she may struggle.

There are certain things on the Ryanair that in my opinion, are setup to trick users into paying for add-ons or may seem confusing. Just a couple of usability tests would show this up! So are they going to sort these issues and therefore produce less revenue from these add-ons or is it just lip service from Michael O’Leary to satisfy angry shareholders.

Travel Insurance

I believe it would be quite common for a user to add on travel insurance without being aware they have done this on the Ryanair website. The fact is the vast majority of users will not read every word on the page and just skim the page, when they see pulldown box asking for “Country of Residence” there will be users who complete this box without realising this has just added £14.95 on to their bill for travel insurance.

Users who skim this page may complete without being aware they have signed up for travel insurance!

Users who skim this page may complete without being aware they have signed up for travel insurance!

The majority of passengers will have travel insurance from an external provider and will not require Ryanair’s policy, but they do not make it easy for you not to include travel insurance. Just look where you have to scroll down to opt out of travel insurance.

You have to scroll down to the bottom of the pulldown to opt out of travel insurance!

You have to scroll down to the bottom of the pulldown to opt out of travel insurance!

It is not enough that you have found the ‘Travel Without Insure’ at the bottom of the pulldown menu but then when you try and continue to the next page you have to say ‘no’ again!

Confirm twice you do not want insurance

Confirm twice you do not want insurance

Finally you get through to the next page of the checkout process and now you have to use the infamous pulldown menus to opt out of airport car parking, phone apps, airport transfers and baggage offers, again this option is at the bottom of the pull down menus.

Ryanair Talk Offers

Want to buy a phone app whilst booking a flight?!? Really?

If Ryanair used a service suggest as Google Alerts or Fresh Web Explorer they would be able to see the various mentions on forums about users struggling to opt out of travel insurance and be able to react to this indirect feedback.

Ryanair A/B Testing

There is no doubt that Ryanair are a prime candidate for A/B testing on certain areas of their website. I would not just restrict the testing to the checkout areas either.

There is currently a huge amount of friction on the checkout area and would be a great place to start with A/B testing. Tests could be started to reduce the amount of steps/options before payment and after a successful checkout Ryanair could try and sell the additional services (e.g. car hire/hotels etc…) to the user.

About Darrell Freeman

A fan of all things conversion related! Been working in SEO since 2005 and over time become more interested in the conversion side of online marketing. Away from the screen, I'm a big sports fan, with a mild interest in Tranmere Rovers and a love of traveling!

Comments

  1. “they do not make it easy for you not to include travel insurance”

    I think that’s the point!

    Ryan Air’s website is unusual, I think, in that it’s partly designed to fool you into buying their profitable add-ons. Classic bait and switch…

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