Edinburgh, Scotland-based Skyscanner is a metasearch engine and online travel broker. More than 100 million users visit the site each month, and it is available in over 30 languages.
People can use the service to find and book all kinds of travel arrangements, such as plane tickets, hotel rooms, and rental cars.
Gareth Williams, Barry Smith, and Bonamy Grimes, three IT professionals who were fed up with the high cost of flights to ski destinations, founded the company in 2003.
When Skyscanner was initially created and deployed in 2002, it was a groundbreaking technological advancement. To help with site development, the first employee was brought on board in 2003. In 2004, the Edinburgh branch of the company was inaugurated.
Scottish Equity Partners, a venture capital firm, invested £2.5 million in Skyscanner in its first round of funding in 2008. (SEP).
Skyscanner made its first profit in 2009, the year SEP invested in the company.
Zoombu was acquired by Skyscanner in 2011 for an undisclosed sum. In September 2011, Skyscanner launched an office in Singapore, which serves as the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters. When Skyscanner entered into a collaboration with Baidu, China’s leading search engine in 2012, the company opened a Beijing office.
Over 180 employees worked for the company in 2013. In February of this year, Skyscanner announced that the company would be opening a Miami, Florida, office.
Sequoia Capital purchased an $800 million stake in Skyscanner in October 2013. A Chinese travel search engine business, Youbibi, was purchased by Skyscanner in June of this year.
Distinction, a Budapest-based mobile app developer, was bought by Skyscanner in October 2014.
As of February 2015, the company has 600 employees, an increase of 20% from the previous 18 months.
The company was valued at $1.6 billion when it raised $192 million in January 2016.
One of the largest travel search engines, Skyscanner, was purchased by Trip.com Group (previously Ctrip) in November 2016. SEP, Skyscanner’s largest stakeholder, concluded its exit from the company following the sale to Ctrip.
As of 2017, Ctrip owns the domain name “Trip.com” and has relaunched the site as “Trip.com”. When Skyscanner bought out the original platform, they made it a subsidiary.
After the tourism industry was rocked by COVID-19, the company planned layoffs of 300 employees in 2020. This amounted to 20% of their Budapest and Sofia offices, which will be closed as a result.
For us, user research has always been a vital element of our work as a travel company that puts travellers first. However, in 2020, when the unexpected occurred and a worldwide epidemic swept throughout the globe, it gained centre stage.
People were forced to stay at home, which had a devastating effect on the travel business. As a firm, we had no choice but to innovate and adapt in order to stay afloat. The first step was to have a thorough understanding of how our clients’ lives had changed and to cut through the confusion.
Relying on Charles Kettering’s “issue well articulated is a problem half-solved” adage was the best way to handle this unusual difficulty. First and foremost, you need to know what you want to accomplish. Our goal was to come up with a list of five essential questions for the company to answer:
In the midst of a pandemic, who are the folks who are still making trip arrangements? What drives them, and why is this important to them?
Are any of these people currently planning to take a vacation? What are the reasons for their concerns and motivations?
When it comes to making trip arrangements, who are the ones that aren’t interested? In what ways and why do they have qualms?
What drives the ups and downs and ups and downs of these populations?
In order to raise the number of persons in groups 1 and 2 safely, what can Skyscanner do?
When it came time to answer these concerns, we needed to use a multi-faceted strategy that incorporated both quantitative and qualitative data gleaned from interviews with consumers and potential customers performed via the on-demand human insights platform, UserTesting.
Executives must be fully on board and understand the significance of any research before it can be carried out. For business decision-makers, qualitative insights are essential because they show the “why behind what” and give them immediate confidence and validation.
I was able to secure the support of our CEO and CPO, setting the road for a successful project, thanks to this strategy. A wide range of tools and support were made available for my team to unearth meaningful human insights so that stakeholders could make better decisions more quickly.
UserTesting University training classes, pre-formatted templates for speedy research, and expert support from UserTesting’s Professional Services and Support teams were some of the resources offered to researchers.
Using our own pulse surveys, we were able to get a sense of the overall breadth of the problem, but the UserTesting platform provided greater human insights that allowed us to develop empathy and comprehend the human perspective behind the numbers.
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We began interviewing 20 international travellers every other week beginning in March 2020. Due to the worldwide nature of UserTesting’s panellists, we received a perspective that went far beyond UK-centric opinions because we were able to specifically target important groups through on-demand virtual platforms.
Sensitivity of The Client
New frameworks for comprehending clients have been developed because of the extensive research we’ve done.
As a result of these insights, our global organisation was able to shift resources like a startup, changing resources to produce engaging new campaigns with language that connected effectively throughout the epidemic, generating awareness and strengthening brand equity.
I was able to reinforce Skyscanner’s existing focus on customer empathy by sharing insights gained through qualitative research across the organisation, realigning our internal structure with our data science team, and driving the direction of the company and product at a time when stakes were high by sharing insights gained through qualitative research.
As a result of our improved understanding, we have been able to respond more quickly and effectively to our client’s needs. In today’s world, it’s more vital than ever for brands to understand not only what their customers are thinking and feeling, but why they are.