Barrhead Travel relaunched its website yesterday adding more content and better functionality to encourage more online bookings.

Managing director Sharon Munro (pictured) said the new site was much faster, slicker and easier to navigate in a bid to make it more transactional.

“We are targeting a 66% increase in conversions online from this, which sounds like a big number but the actual numbers that book online currently aren’t that big.

“We’ve been using our site as a shop window. It’s always been fully bookable and attracted a huge amount of traffic, but customers have tended to still come into a shop, ring our call centre – or go somewhere else.

“It’s those going somewhere else that we are hoping to retain. We want to keep them on our website, not go to someone else’s.

Munro said that the second stage of the new site, to be rolled out in four to six weeks, would add increased personalisation to tie into Barrhead’s CRM system, Nevis.

It will help Barrhead recognise customers searching its site and enable them to send them relevant offers.

“At the moment, customers will get an email of 10 offers only one of which might be relevant, so the increased personalisation will allow us to send bespoke deals to individual clients.”

She said it would also enable Barrhead to send customers communications pre and post their holidays. “We’ll be able to up-sell customers on tours before they travel, for example,” Munro explained.

She also revealed Barrhead would be launching a new app in the coming months.

“We have an app currently which is purely to search our holidays. Our new app will be for customers to download and will give them a holiday countdown, weather reports, ideas of things to do, resort photos, and allow them to make payments, etc,” said Munro.

She stressed the digital developments should not concern staff as processes get increasingly automated.

“Far from it, we believe our new website will generate more business so we’ll going to increase the number of staff working in our Barrhead Travel call cente which employs 30 staff, by at least 20% and we’re opening new shops.

“We have a new large store opening in the shopping centre in Braehead in the next four to six weeks and three more before the end of the year taking us over 60 in total.”