Flow Communications

Flow started working with City Sightseeing South Africa in 2015, providing full-scale digital marketing services, including website and app development, website maintenance, email marketing, and content and social media management.

City Sightseeing is a true leader in tourism innovation in South Africa and is one of our most prominent national clients. City Sightseeing (or the “red bus” as it’s popularly known) offers the best way for visitors to explore Cape Town and Johannesburg and is part of an excellent global network of open-top buses.

Flow developed and managed the City Sightseeing website, including the organisation’s slick online ticketing system.

At the 2016 New Generation Social & Digital Media Awards, Flow won gold for Best App Developed by an Agency, on behalf of City Sightseeing.

Case study: e-commerce website

In August 2017, Flow was contracted by City Sightseeing to develop a new website.

The website is a core part of a wider digital strategy, which includes digital PR, social media, content marketing and a business system intranet.

The website was developed over a six-week period and has resulted in a smoother, clearer user experience and significant revenue increases.


Online sales are valued over “offline” point-of-sale sales by the client for a number of reasons:

  • Knowledge of the customer before arrival – we can market to an identified customer
  • Cash flow – money is in the bank before customer arrival
  • Efficiency – ticket sales do not require human involvement

Following this insight, the objective was to build a new website to increase online sales revenue, and increase online sales as a percentage of total revenue.


The implementation focused on the following aspects:

  • Mobile first. Most customers book via mobile phone. In-destination travellers are mobile-centric. We developed the website thinking of our mobile users first and foremost
  • Page speed. Customers book from all over the world. The website must be hosted in South Africa, but be fast around the world. We achieved a sub-three-second load time for international users
  • Payment options. Customers are increasingly security conscious. Providing a variety of payment methods reduces fall-off. We implemented credit card payment, PayPal and AliPay (for the Chinese market)
  • Readability. The website has clear and consistent typography, high-contrast colours and adequately sized fonts
  • Focused conversion. Customers must find purchasing a ticket logical and easy. We developed a clear conversion path, and removed extraneous steps and fields from the process


The project had a relatively low budget considering the website scale. The website development team, consisting of three people, and the tight six-week period meant delivery was efficient.


The website features strong SEO-focused product descriptions. Content is concise and highly factual, enabling customers to quickly decide on which ticket to purchase.

The website ranks #1 on Google search results on keywords such as “bus tour cape town”, “hop on hop off tour” and “cape point tour” (see supplementary documentation).


The website uses strong colours and bold imagery to drive conversion. We purposely cut back on carousels and other complex front-end interfaces in order to streamline the user experience and enhance page load times.


  • A mobile-first approach recognised that most users of the website are mobile users
  • The currency tool provides real-time localised currencies for international users not familiar with South African rands
  • An online chat facility managed by the CSS call centre staff supports the conversion process

Results achieved

  • Online organic transactions increased on average 24.6% after September 2017 (to May 2018), with November 2017 recording a massive 48.87% increase
  • We achieved 18% of total revenue online (September 2017 to May 2018), substantially higher than the ambitious target of 15% set for 2017 to 2018
  • Our online conversion rate averaged 3.74% (September 2017 to May 2018), substantially above the industry median conversion rate of 2.35% (Wordstream, 2014)
  • The website ranked #1 on Google search results on keywords such as “bus tour cape town”, “hop on hop off tour” and “cape point tour”
  • Uptime of 99.89%
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