Tracking Third-Party Website Booking Referrals

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When you are spending time and money on affiliates and cross-links you want to know if the program is successful. Are you really getting traffic from these sources? More importantly, does the traffic from these sources make you more money? Being able to spend your advertising budget in a smart, profitable way is what this underutilized feature is all about.

In many cases you’re able to see referral sources in popular analytics tools like Google Analytics. But many times these systems are not set up to handle passing referral information from one domain to another and some customers never have those tracking codes execute due to an opt-out flag or slow internet. Using this method (in conjunction) with analytics should create an ironclad record.

How it Works

The feature is very simple to use. Say you operate a bike tour business and you want to pay for a listing on a local tourism website to try to drive more revenue to your business. One piece of information the tourism board will ask for is a URL to your website. So, instead of sending them https://www.biketourcompanyexample.com, you’d send them https://www.biketourcompanyexample.com?src=tourism-website-name. The key difference is the src URL parameter in the second example. 

This URL parameter can have letters, numbers, dashes, and underscores in it. Do not include any other special characters or spaces as this can cause adverse effects. When a customer clicks on one of these links we will treat the src parameter special and if the customer makes a booking we will attach that to the payment record. You are then able to run reports on the Tracking Source Code field. 

Non-Embedded Experience

Clients that utilize the embedded booking experience will not have to make any changes to use this feature. Any traffic that comes in with this URL parameter will store this value and everything will just work. But for clients that do not use the embedded booking experience some custom code will be required. Why? Because you will be driving traffic to your website and to book the customer has to then go over to our domain. The booking link doesn’t include the src parameter and the booking engine is unaware of anything on your domain.

While we don’t have any specific custom code to provide, we recommend identifying the URL parameter and storing the value in a cookie. Using code, append this URL parameter and value to all booking links if it exists. Then, when a customer clicks one of your booking links and navigates over to our domain we will also then know about the URL parameter. 

Package Spotlight: JSDocs

Up-to-date documentation is a challenge for many businesses. Especially businesses that don’t employ dedicated technical writers. That’s where JSDocs comes into play. With JSDocs we decorate JavaScript code in a specific, standard way. Then, as part of the build process, we can instrument those comments and decoration which turn into robust JavaScript documentation. 

The other added benefit is the comments help to keep the code clean and commented well so that any developer can see what each module or function or class is doing. JSDocs is fast and easy to use and creates robust documentation as well as commenting standards.

Package Name: JSDocs
Website: https://jsdoc.app/

2019 Annual Financial Review

What a year 2019 has been! We hope that all of our clients and partners have also had a fantastic year. TRYTN has seen continued dramatic growth in nearly all metrics and some new industry verticals that can directly correlate to the large drop in average order value as well as the difference between the growth of orders versus the growth of revenue. Overall we’ve had a very solid 2019 and can’t wait to share these new metrics with you.

155%

Bookings Change

For the fifth year in a row we’ve seen a triple-digit growth in the number of revenue-generating orders placed within the TRYTN system. This year we can directly attribute the continued growth and more than double the orders from the previous year to the sales team bringing on new markets and the engineering team adding additional features and functionality to encourage more sales. 

74%

Revenue Change

This year we once again saw very aggressive growth in the amount of revenue generated through the platform but this is also the first year to not only not hit triple-digits (and at least a double) as well as the first year to not see the revenue and order percentages walk in lockstep. The reason? We can attribute this to new businesses in new markets that have high volume but low product prices that drove this number down. 

-32%

AOV Change

This year we saw a significant decrease in the average order value across the platform. While some of this metric this year is influenced by outside influences we can attribute most of this decrease to new markets that TRYTN started supporting in 2019, mainly museums, which have a very low ticket price and therefore low average order value but have a high order volume. 

43%

New Businesses Added

2019 has been a solid year for the sales team by increasing the number of net-new businesses that were brought onto the TRYTN platform versus 2018. We expanded into many new verticals and some new geographical regions in Europe and Asia. 

65%

Revenue Businesses per Month

We are very proud to report that we’re continuing to diversify the TRYTN portfolio to continue to mitigate seasonality by adding net-new businesses in different geographical regions and new markets that reduce the overall seasonal slump. 

2019 was a year for the books and we cannot wait to see what 2020 has in store for us. Near the end of 2019 we started to rapidly expand the sales and marketing teams to continue to scale the business in dramatic ways. We wish all of our clients and partners continued success in 2020 and look forward to our next annual report in January of 2020.

2019 Annual Technology Review

We’re a few days into 2020 and seems like every company is posting year-end reviews with statistics. We thought we’d share a few of our own that we felt were interesting. Below you’ll find three metrics that we pulled numbers on from the technology team to share with everyone else. 

781

Releases

A release is simply a code change that made it to the production, or live, environment. We use releases to help create quality control gates to ensure that code in use is performant and clean. In 2019 we had 781 releases which averages out to 2 releases a day. We release often because we move so quickly shipping new features and bug fixes. Speaking of bug fixes…

499

Bugs Squashed

While you never want bugs in production the fact of the matter is bugs will happen to every system out there no matter how hard you try to prevent them with various quality gates. We’re proud that we were able to squash 499 bugs in the system in 2019. This averages out to 2 bugs fixed every day

3,342

Unit and Integration Tests

One of the quality checks we perform with every release is the automatic running of unit and integration tests to make sure new features work as intended and that code changes don’t adversely affect existing code in production. By the end of 2019 we have a total of 3,342 unit and integration tests across the platform. Given the number of releases we had in 2019 we ended up running over 2 million unit and integration tests to help keep the system running it’s best.

These are just a few statistics that we pulled from the technology side to help show how we continue to improve the system to benefit tour and activity operators so they can focus on their business instead of the back-office. We expect 2020 to be even busier and the team to continue to put out high-quality code and features into production. 

December 2019 Release Notes

December has been an incredibly busy month for us here at TRYTN. On the booking side we’ve been hard at work and have fully released a complete redesign of the platform. Expect the embedding experience to receive a similar treatment in Q1 of 2020.

On the platform and account sides of the house we’ve been squashing bugs and adding in some useful time savers like tax/fee reporting fields and the ability to re-send an invoice

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Account Updates

  • Ability to include individual taxes and fees in custom reports
  • Users can now re-send customer invoice emails
  • You can now add tags to payments made within the account system and report on the tags
  • Fixed an issue where December sales summary data was not displaying correctly
  • Additional sub description fields did not include a WYSIWYG editor
  • Added six new dashboard widgets for closed dates, abandoned carts, outstanding invoices, and account management
  • Fixed an issue that prevented new clients from utilizing staff management functionality
  • Fixed an issue with sorting of add-ons and questions not persisting the sort order
  • Prevent special characters in the business URL
  • Fixed an issue where some businesses were unable to re-open a date after it had been manually closed
  • General performance, resiliency, and security enhancements

Booking and Embedding Updates

  • Redesign of booking experience
  • Bug fixed to stop displaying description on product details page twice
  • Fixed an issue where businesses that consume service fee were still showing service fee to customer
  • Customers who used non-EN languages on the by date activity view were receiving results in English
  • Fixed a bug where customers were not able to select a start week on non-EN languages
  • Fixed an issue where invoices sent to customers with an attached affiliate was not crediting the affiliate for the booking
  • General performance and security enhancements

General Platform Updates

  • Resiliency and security enhancements

Six Additional Dashboard Widgets

dashboard showing graphs in widgets

TRYTN is constantly trying to improve the tour operator experience and the robust dashboard functionality released earlier this year is just the start. Dashboards are only as good as the data the give to each operator and that’s why we have released a new package of dashboard widgets. These widgets help the user know more information about their operations and day-to-day so they can make informed, smart decisions.

Operators can now select widgets to visually indicate on a calendar which day(s) a business is marked as closed (Closed Dates widget), See the current days outstanding invoices (Outstanding Invoices widgets for both count and amount), as well as the number of customers for the day with abandoned carts (Abandoned Carts widgets for both count and amount), and lastly, you now have front-and-center contact name and details for the account manager or team that is assigned to your account (Account Managers widget).

We will continue to add additional widgets in the future to help operators learn more about their business and how customers are interacting with it.