Thomas Cook is one of the largest travel groups in the world. Its Northern Europe division, consisting of 3 travel agencies in 4 countries: Spies in Denmark, Ving in Sweden and Norway, and Tjäreborg in Finland, sells around 1,5 million travels a year. They chose Umbraco CMS to showcase their online presence because they needed a platform with the user in focus. “Umbraco helps us to be among leaders in the travel industry and contributes to implementing our strategies,” says Rasmus Panduro, Head of eCommerce Operations at Thomas Cook Northern Europe. See the full Thomas Cook and Umbraco story:


Skills used
  • Business development
  • Digital strategy
  • SEO
Sector
  • Professional services
  • Tourism & hospitality

The case

From beginning to look for a travel deal until purchasing it, a customer has about 8 different contact points with a travel agency. And previously, most of the purchases were carried out at a physical store, while in recent years, customer service moved online.

Today we have 1.6 million visits on our sites and we make 80 percent of its sales online. It places great demands for their digital platform as it must provide the same positive customer experience regardless of the online means used - computer, tablet or mobile. More and more customers, especially in Sweden, are purchasing their travels using their mobile phone.

What our demands were

A key to winning in a market where supply is larger than demand is to think like customers and offer them a smart and intuitive site on all channels. A site built on a platform that has the user in focus.

When working in 4 countries, it is important to think globally and locally at the same time, so the platform must be easy to work with on a Nordic level, but also easy to adapt to local needs.

That is why we chose Umbraco. It is also the platform for over 300 Thomas Cook's sites worldwide, where customers can get important and relevant information about their hotel or travel destination. Umbraco CMS is so easy to use that it only takes 40 minutes for the local hotel keeper to update their local site.

As customer-tailored as we need it to be

With Umbraco, we can tailor our sites based on customer needs. We can now build our sites based on the building block principle, thereby creating, modifying and adding content as needed. Everything is based on templates and modules that work on all channels, in all markets and on all 300 vacation-destination websites.

It is also easy to create campaigns with Umbraco; it leads to smooth SEO management, which contributes to bringing relevant content for the individual customer.

Previously, a webmaster built a landing page, then sent the code to his 3 colleagues in 3 other countries, which used about 60 percent of their time to adapt to their local market. After that, each webmaster sent his translation for editing and then made the last changes when they received the material back. It was a long, expensive and dense process.

With Umbraco, a single webmaster can now use 60 percent of his time to produce a landing page. Then he can send 3 copies to be translated and customized locally, and then publish all landing pages in 3 different local editions. Umbraco is simple and logical for developers to work in, not least in terms of image management, which is a very important part on travel sites.

According to our Head of eCommerce Operations Rasmus Panduro: "Umbraco is not just another CMS - it's the best!" Rasmus has been working with eCommerce since 1997 when Ving/Spies/Tjäreborg launched their first online booking engine. Going from analog to digital in 20 years, our eCommerce team is now working as an integrated part of the organization with strong customer focus and clear commercial goals.

Time and money saved

With Umbraco, we have the opportunity to adjust to customer demands and adapt the platform without delay, so it continuously provides the best user experience.

Thanks to the optimization process, Umbraco saves us time and costs. By using Umbraco, we save about 40 percent of our previous production time.

Having obtained Gold Support from Umbraco, we can share knowledge with the company, which streamlines the entire employment process in new markets. 

Because it's quick to implement Umbraco knowledge, we can recruit more diverse employees, not just those with the best IT knowledge.

Thomas Cook has gained a simpler landing page, as well as better and more customer-oriented campaign sites. We can now reuse 80 percent of the copy from site to site, thus only using the remaining percentage for changes connected to a certain campaign or "last minute travel", where only a little is needed to create a brand new page. It saves staff resources.

Our travel agencies now have a holistic user-friendly and cost-saving CMS that supports all business and e-commerce in all countries where Thomas Cook operates.

"The open platform's building blocks provide huge savings, higher efficiency and ability to recruit staff based on criteria that provide more customer benefit and less technology focus.”

Rasmus Panduro, Head of Ecommerce Operations, Thomas Cook Northern Europe

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