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Extending our deep-link capabilities

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Most people reach Zalyn directly at the home page where they enter their rental info (pickup location, dropoff location, pickup and dropoff date & time) & let Zalyn do its thing. However, some people arrive directly at a Coupon Page (like this one) or a Collection Page (like this one). This typically happens when you click on a Google (or other search engine's) search result based on your query. Maybe you searched for a specific discount code or typed in something generic like 'avis coupon codes'.

Up until now, whenever someone clicked on a coupon from one of these pages, we simply sent them over to the rental agency's home page and gave them the discount code. This was cumbersome, since all of the rental info (as well as the discount code) had to be manually entered on the agency's website. While it ain't so bad if you're doing it once or twice, but if want to go through a bunch of coupons, it can quickly turn into your worst nightmare! There's gotta be a better way and starting today, we're introducing a bunch of options to help you out. But first, a quick introduction to something called a deep-link.


A deep-link is a link (url) that points to a specific page (rather than the home page) and typically includes contextual information, which allows the targeted website to send you further along their multi-step checkout process to minimize the effort (clicks and keystrokes) needed to complete the checkout faster.

Since deep-link saves time and effort (& hopefully money), we're going to try and create a deep-link whenever possible. In order to create a deep-link, we need to know
  1. Your rental details (mandatory)
  2. Your vehicle selection (optional, but takes you much further)
  3. Your coupon (optional, if you want to lookup discounted rates) 
Here's how we plan to create deep-links for your whenever you want to use a coupon.

Deep-linking from Search Results page

This is the most common scenario. You enter your search criteria on the home page and hit the search button. Zalyn works its magic and shows you the search results based on your inputs. When you hit the APPLY button to use a coupon, we know your rental details, your vehicle pick and the coupon you want to apply. This helps us create a deep-link and send you to the final stage of the checkout process on a booking site (typically Priceline). The rate shown includes the coupon discount and you simply need to provide your name and email to complete the booking.

Deep-linking from Collection or Coupon page

When you click on a coupon from a Collection page (or a Coupon page), we only know about the coupon (and collection) you're interested in. We do not know your rental details (which is the most important piece of information required to create a deep-link). So, we ask for your rental information at this time by showing you a popup window.

The popup may be pre-populated with details of your previous search (if any). At this point you have two options:
  1.  Add your rental details : If you add this info, we'll send your rental details and coupon to a booking site. This will take you to the search results page, where you'll see all available vehicles for your rental (including discounted rates based on your coupon).
  2. Get discount code: If you don't want to add your rental details, simply click the 'or get discount code' link at the bottom of the popup and we'll show you the discount code and coupon usage instructions. 

What do you think of this new feature? Share your thoughts in the comment below.

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