Fostering RV community engagement through user experience
Created in 1997, the Go RVing coalition brings together a host of players in the multi-billion dollar RV industry, including RV manufacturers, dealers, and campground operators. Go RVing provides the public and media with information, content, and tools to promote the benefits of RV travel.
However, the possible retirement of their trip planner tool, launched by Go RVing’s partner, triggered a series of questions within the organization: should they update the tool and, more broadly speaking, their entire site?
The process was twofold: first, they needed to consider the future of their trip planner tool. How should it be used? Could it be improved? What features should be in the spotlight? Should the tool be discontinued? Was it worth the investment? Then, they needed to analyze their website as a whole to figure out how to enhance the user experience, improve the brand’s positioning, and make Go RVing an essential reference for RV enthusiasts in Canada.
To reach their objectives and cement their position as an ambassador of the Canadian RV industry, Go RVing turned to us to conduct an exhaustive analysis of their current website and make concrete recommendations for its optimization.
The main objectives were as follows:
- Increase the digital potential of Go RVing
- Boost the brand’s reputation
- Optimize conversion rates and lead generation
Experts from our team and Go RVing put their heads together and came up with a collaborative approach. Together, we developed a strategic plan, to be deployed over 12 to 24 months, and made a series of recommendations (including many quick wins) for reaching the company’s objectives.
Projects – Strategy
Digital analysis and comparative monitoring
The expertise of our digital team was essential to properly advise our client. In particular, we conducted a digital analysis to take stock of the current website (including its architecture) and evaluate the overall user experience compared to competing or related sites. Specifically, we monitored the websites of Go RVing competitors and examined them side-by-side.
User personas and journey maps
To make sure we were getting the full picture, we reached out to various groups connected to the world of RVing. Namely, we conducted a series of interviews and hosted seven workshops with RV manufacturers, resellers, Go RVing employees, and website users.
To provide solid strategic recommendations, we also needed to identify Go RVing’s main user personas and better understand their reasons for visiting the site. For instance, did they want advice on buying an RV? Were they looking for travel destinations or hunting for the best campgrounds? To find out, we ran several persona workshops and focus groups and sent a survey to more than 30,000 users from the Go RVing database. The goal was to gather as much feedback as possible and collect concrete data to help us better understand each persona. We then created four persona profiles representing the main customer segments of Go RVing.
This allowed us to define the site’s different customer journeys, better identify the needs of RV enthusiasts, and find new ways of fostering engagement within this community.
Several findings emerged from this analysis:
- From our surveys and interviews, we learned that the majority of users did not know what the primary purpose of the website was. Many thought it was a site that sold RVs. Consequently, those who already owned an RV, or were not looking to purchase one, lost interest.
- We realized that, above all, the site needed to showcase content celebrating the RV lifestyle. In tandem, it needed to continue to provide information on different RVs to help potential buyers compare models and make informed decisions.
- We identified several opportunities to drive conversions and traffic, namely through SEO, site performance monitoring, and email communications.
Several recommendations were made for the roadmap, including the following:
- Add a breadcrumb trail on each page to simplify navigation and improve SEO.
- Add bookmarks so users can save relevant articles and content to their profile to view later when planning an RV trip.
- Create an RV selection tool based on each user’s data.
- Segment users as soon as they access the site to provide a persona-based experience tailored to their needs and generate more engagement.
- Redefine call-to-action buttons so they’re fully descriptive and relevant.
We produced a sheet of all the digital tactics recommended for Go RVing, ranked in order of priority, as well as an 18-month roadmap. During this digital analysis, we paid particular attention to the user experience, both with regard to the trip planner tool and the website at large.
What should be done with the trip planner tool?
We came to the conclusion that the trip planner tool had several flaws that hindered the user experience. For example, it was not always possible to see available campground lots, and they could not be booked directly through the tool. We also found that, despite a certain level of appreciation for the tool, it had little added value compared to the competition.
For this reason, we determined that it was not worthwhile for Go RVing to invest in the trip planner tool, as getting it in top shape would be very expensive considering the actual gains. In our prioritization sheet, we recommended that Go RVing focus on producing value-added content for users (e.g., articles, tips and tricks for RV owners) and simplifying the browsing experience as much as possible.
Recommendations being implemented
The Go RVing team will continue to implement our strategic and digital recommendations over the next few months. We can’t wait to see the results!
Some of our team members involved in the project may have even joined the RV community by then!
« Working with the Go RVing team has made me fall in love with the RV lifestyle. Their passion for RVing is so contagious, you can’t help but want to hit the road!
Since my first meeting with them, not a day goes by that I don’t dream of owning my own RV. »
Alain Tremblay, digital strategist on the project