The VisitBritain Trade team provides support and information for tourism businesses. The VisitBritain Trade website delivers a marketplace for suppliers and buyers in the Travel Trade to meet each other and build business opportunities. It is also a hub of news and practical information to assist the tourism industry in Great Britain.
The brief was to re-develop and re-platform the existing Trade website onto the VisitBritain Drupal platform that houses VB.com, VB.org & BritAgent.
The VB Trade website exists to service the needs of the Travel Trade industry - both in terms of buyers looking to build holiday packages for their clients, as well as suppliers who wish to present their products and services.
We proposed using a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach to the Trade team for this project.
An MVP is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy the baseline requirements of users. Once the MVP is live, subsequent features are only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product’s initial users.
This approach worked for the Trade project for a couple of reasons:
- Time; time was limited on this project so reducing the number of requirements would help ensure time to market was significantly reduced
- Product viability; building an MVP allowed the team to cater specifically to the needs of the Travel Trade, as opposed to arbitrarily deciding what it was that they needed, wasting time and money in the process
In this instance the Trade MVP included the Supplier Directory, alongside the News, Events and Itineraries content, for all markets that the Trade team work with. It didn’t include any RFP or buyer directories.
The new site launched at the end of June - the MVP simplifies the user journeys for both Suppliers and Buyers, while providing enough information to promote and sustain these connections. It also integrates the Trade site into VB platform - this is both in relation to platform architecture, as well as the overall look and feel.