RZSS Edinburgh Zoo



  • Completed
    September 2022
  • Deployment
    Umbraco CMS / Access Gamma / ThankQ CRMS / SagePay
  • Visit Site

  • edinburghzoo.org.uk

The Brief

Renowned worldwide for their collection of over 2500 fascinating and endangered animals, including the UK's only pair of Giant Pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, Edinburgh Zoo doesn’t need much introduction. 

Part of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), the Zoo serves as an international hub for conservation, revitalising endangered animals through breeding programmes, public education and research. 

As part of our ongoing digital partnership with RZSS, we were tasked with transforming the mobile UX and ticketing journeys while lifting the site's overall visual identity. 

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Discovery and data insights revealed that the site would prove equally useful to visitors at the zoo as well as those planning a trip - the latter being traditionally the main focus. So clear sign-posting to relevant, on-site information such as upcoming zoo-keeper talks, special offers and today's recommendations were surfaced.

Aesthetically, the team at the Zoo felt the site as it stood was too corporate and didn’t reflect the excitement or feeling of discovery that accompanies a zoo visit. We were tasked with creating a UI that was playful and immersive, while still highlighting the importance of the Zoo's conservation work. 

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Purchase journeys were mapped out as design-sprints across ticketing, membership & donation, ensuring they were primed to convert visitors on-the-move in Edinburgh or beyond. 

Revenue generation potential was bolstered by weaving the upselling of on-site experiences into the journeys and combined with quick, simple Gift-aid and donation options.

We increased RZSS membership and donation uptake by 80% through the enhancement of one-off / renewal user journeys including the introduction of direct debit to spread the cost for members. 

Our Umbraco experts delivered a custom and seamless integration with RZSS's CRM platform: AccessGamma-ThanQ, which enables our client to manage bookings and nurture the customer relationship life-cycle.

Umbraco's flexibility supports the quick roll-out of sub-branded, high-impact and seasonal landing pages, showcasing popular events such as their Halloween Spooktacular, Summer Zoo Nights and Dinosaurs!.  

Embedded in these landing pages is a live availability/booking calendar, super-easy to use on the move and hooked up to event-specific booking journeys as well as the zoo's CRM platform for ongoing management.

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Turning visitors into conservationists was a further driver of this UX transformation and maintaining brand engagement long after visiting.

Live webcams have been given pride of place so that you can keep an eye on your favourite animals at home - this featured on the BBC News as it was so popular!  

We’ve also drawn attention to conservation, animal adoption and 'Feed our pandas' programs at critical points in the user journeys.

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Highland Wildlife Park

The next step in our digital partnership with RZSS was to head north and give the same treatment to the Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore. Like Edinburgh Zoo, the Highland Wildlife Park hosts an array of animals including Scottish Wildcats, Grey Wolves and Hamish, the UK’s first Polar Bear cub for 25 years. 

Results to date  

YOY comparison Jan-Aug 21 vs Jan-Aug 22:

  • + The bounce rate was reduced by 35%
  • + Time on the mobile site up 42%
  • + Ticket sales via mobiles up 24%

The team took the time to understand not just the project but our wider organization, and regularly provided suggestions and improvements above and beyond the original brief. Radiator has been a pleasure to work with throughout.

Lisa Robshaw, Head of Marketing & Sales, RZSS, Aug 2022


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