Booking.com Shopping was a new vertical introduced in 2018. We set out to help travellers with their shopping needs on a trip. From our user research and jobs to be done, we found that shoppers have several requirements. They care about where to go (content), how much they save (discounts), unique items from the destination, and even luggage and storage space. To find our product/market fit, we launched five MVPs to test these hypotheses.
Of the projects we launched, two were our biggest successes.
One of the biggest factors driving people to shop abroad is price. If the price of certain brands is significantly cheaper at their destination, our customers were significantly more interested.
We launched a price comparison app for fashion, cosmetics, and food brands between countries. If the price of certain brands is significantly cheaper at their destination, we alerted the traveller. From our analysis, Mango is 40% cheaper in the Netherlands than in the US, while Levi’s and Vans are 35% cheaper in the US than in the Netherlands. This phenomenon exists. The app tested very successfully within the company and launched to a limited set of people.
Second, we wanted to test the hypothesis that travellers seek discounts, and positioned this in Duty Free at airports. Two days before their trip, travellers were told about a new offer from Booking.com. With a personal QR code, they get a discount on their Duty Free shopping. The pilot's success was overwhelming, with our team earning commissions over €100K in the first 3 months of launch.
Shopping as a new vertical meant that we had to inspire our customers to trust and want our products. We have the extra insider knowledge on pricing, relevant brands, and best products to shop for. Our brand had to feel luxurious, aspirational, and beautiful to our customers. The branding we needed didn't fit with Booking.com's core branding. So after a collective understanding of the Shopping customer base, a fellow designer and I created a new brand identity and style guide for the team.
The Shopping team was a real example of “work fast and learn things." For 4 of 5 projects, I was the lead designer, while a fellow designer worked with me on the price comparison app and style guide. It was a great start to my journey at Booking.com.