How changing one word increased our flight booking conversions by 30%

Published September 5, 2016

It was a warm night in March and I was going over my research for the unified booking experiment to prepare a presentation for the Rome2rio team the next day. The results had been really great, and I was in a good mood. I was assembling the slides when I noticed something, something I’d missed when doing the experiment.

Our ticket looked like this:

Some of the other tickets in my slides looked like this:

Spot the difference? We’d decided to go for the label “Book ticket” on our book button. However, many other sites opted instead for the label “Select”. Some sites even opted for using an arrow or arrow shaped button. It was time for another experiment.

The Experiment

The baseline for the experiment was our original “Book ticket’ label. It was serving us well so far so it would remain as the control for the experiment.

Our second variant was DisclosureButton and simply involved adding an arrow to the existing book button.

Our final variant was SelectButton which involved adding an arrow as well as changing the label to “Select”. This was the one that the research suggested would succeed — or at least was the button style used by most other websites.

The Results

DisclosureButton performed 12.5% better. What? Just adding an arrow performed 12.5% better — that seemed like a crazy win for such a small change. What was even more surprising was that changing the label to Select and adding the disclosure arrow performed a whopping 34% better.

The Moral Of The Story

Your research isn’t done once you start developing concepts. It’s important to look back over all those user stories, screenshots and concepts after you’ve completed work. It helps to tear apart any biases you may have had during that exciting pre-development phase and can give you big wins if you catch something you may have originally missed.

Written by
Software Development Engineer
Rome2rio, based in Melbourne, Australia, is organising the world’s transport information. We offer a multi-modal, door-to-door travel search engine that returns itineraries for air, train, coach, ferry, mass transit and driving options to and from any location. Discover the possibilities at