Needs to plug the hole in our 
sales funnel to increase downstream conversion.


WhyHotel is a venture-capital backed, DC-based startup that operates “turn-key, pop-up hotels” in newly built, vacant luxury apartments during their lease-up phase. Blurring the line between hospitality and home, our model provides the value and space of a home-share with the consistency of a luxury hotel. Thanks to WhyHotel, real estate developers now have a new way to leverage vacant units during lease-up and you have a new way to travel. 

User Problem

Based on the web traffic we pulled from google analytics, we identified that a significant portion of our users we’re not converting over to our 3rd party booking engine where they finalized their purchase.

For example, of the 10,000 users who came to the WhyHotel website, only 5,000 of those users launched the booking engine to review room pricing. Of the 5,000 people who launched the booking engine, which allowed you to pick your room type (Step 1), only 2,500 converted to personalizing their Stay (Step 2), and only 500 people converted to filling out credit card information (Step 3). When a user got to the final step of filling out their credit card information, only 200 of those people clicked the book now button to complete their purchase. 

Our 1st challenge was to plug the hole in our sales funnel and figure out why our customers were launching the booking engine but not proceeding further down the funnel. 

Our 2nd challenge was to figure out once the booking engine launched, how to move our customer through the funnel smoothly to secure the purchase.

Our Process

MEASURE: We measured conversion rate, bounce rate, session length to determine how our users we’re accessing our website and where they spend their time.

PRIORITIZE: We prioritized high value, low-cost changes, we tackled relevant pages first that have high volume traffic. We focused on informational changes on the front end of the website and transactional changes for the booking engine.

TEST: Test our hypothesis against a control to see if the variant has a significant impact on the user experience. 

LEARN: What did we do well and what can we improve on.

REPEAT: Repeat the process. 

Content Inventory

Heat Mapping

Questions we asked:

  • Where are the leaks in the funnel?
  • What’s preventing customers from taking action?
  • Did we not include specific information?
  • What are competitors doing?
  • How is traffic segmented via traffic source or device?

Testing Ideas: 

Decrease fields on checkout page and image/whitespace for Tysons
Reducing the number of fields and images on the checkout page for Tysons will increase conversion rates.

Abbreviated room description
Restructuring and shortening the room copy on the booking engine results page will help visitors progress further down funnel to make a reservation.

Low Commitment Messaging
Adding messaging that says “Reserve Now, Pay at Property” will further progress visitors to the checkout page from the guests.

Changing CTA in Step 1 of the booking engine
Changing CTA from “Book Now” to “Select” will encourage more visitors to progress to Step 2 of the booking engine

Moving amenities section higher on the hotels landing page
Moving the “WhyHotel Way to Stay” section higher will highlight our value proposition much faster to visitors and encourage more searches into the booking engine

Availability CTA
Softening the CTA language on the availability page will encourage more visitors to progress further down the funnel

Preview final cost
Booking widget showing final cost earlier in funnel (e.g. property page) will increase progression to check availability page

Abandonment reminder
Pop-up for visitors that try to exit the checkout page will decrease exits from that page and drive more conversions

Abandonment re-target
Banner for visitors who did not complete reservation will drive more progress back into the funnel (availability page)

Low inventory callout
Highlighting last room or last x rooms on the availability page will drive more people to the next step in the funnel (add-ons page)

Unit type promotion
Moving positions higher or highlighting certain unit types that we need to sell will drive more visitors to click to the add-ons page and convert on that unit type

Email sign-up prompt
Having an email pop-up on our homepage and/or before someone exits with messaging around getting exclusive access to special sales, etc. will increase the average number of email signups so that we can grow our email base and engaged customers

Highlighting property walkscore will get more booking engine looks


For Test Hypothesis 1 moving the value proposition further above the page will drive more booking engine looks was inconclusive.

Hypothesis 2 resulted in a 22% lift in conversions over the variant. We ran A/B testing for 1 month and as a result was able to see a significant lift in the conversion rate.