Live the local life

“But a city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time.” – Patrick Geddes

Whether we are traveling or at home in our own city, why do we struggle to decide what to do over a weekend or on a free evening? Why do we have to head to the neighborhood mall, or stay home while we order in grocery and food?

After simplifying travel for a decade we asked the question, can we trip without travelling? That question led to the introduction of Cleartrip Activities last year. Since then we’ve been thinking, what comes next? How does travel and activities fit together? How do we improve a product that all of you have made so successful?

Introducing, Cleartrip Local.

Travel-Local

Cleartrip Local is a bold re-imagining of Activities and the answer to the questions we had. With 15k+ experiences catering to 200+ interests in 50+ cities, Cleartrip Local presents the most comprehensive set of experiences to go out and enjoy when you’re in your city or away travelling. With Local, we want to deliver awesome experiences in your city so that you can trip without travelling.

The Switcher

Separated from Travel by the simplest of switches, Local makes it easy for you to find the experiences you want. A completely new design makes it easier to browse through four distinct categories – Activities cater to every interest and age, Eat Out presents individually curated options for a great dining experience, Events tell you what’s happening in your city and Fitness presents a completely new way to get fit that may just, finally, help you meet your New Year’s goal.

The Weekend

Imagine waking up on a Saturday and going out for a brunch. Then drive down to a theme park to spend the rest of the day. End the day with a delicious dinner by the pool. Start Sunday with a visit to the gym, any gym. Just pick from regular gym floors, zumba, yoga and more activities and go to any gym that offers it. Spend the evening watching your favorite play or listening to your favorite artist live. You’ll be spoilt for choice.

When you want to travel, it’s easy to “switch” and book a flight or hotel. And when you want something in your city it is just as easy to switch to Local. So get up and step out, have fun, have a new experience anytime, every time.

Everyone in the team has worked really hard and burnt the midnight oil to roll this out and we’re really proud with what we’ve built here. We’ll put out more posts soon, elaborating the magic that went behind the making of Local. Meanwhile, give it a spin and do let us know what you think about it. As always drop a line to mobile@cleartrip.com.

So the next time someone asks you “What’s happening?”, just turn around and say “Lots happening!”

Charting Activities on Cleartrip Mobile (Quarterly Mobile Insight Q4’16)

In a rapidly growing mobile-first economy, Cleartrip Mobile continues its aggressive growth. In the last quarter of FY’16 (infographic below), Mobile on Cleartrip accounted for 74% of the traffic and 42% of transactions, posting a robust  87% YoY growth in transactions. Most of this growth is synchronous with the launch of Cleartrip Activities mid last year, which presented customers with an array of specially curated experiences in their own city, or even while they were away.

With 13,000 experiences across 240 categories in 50 cities from 6,600 suppliers in India, Activities has generated humongous interest across our users. This is visible in the number of searches on our apps which have been growing  at a sharp pace. An interesting dimension here, is the fact that almost 80% of the Activities’ users book in their home-city, demonstrating the keen interest consumers have, about knowing all that can be done, in the city they stay in.

Interest in Activities is not just  from our existing users, but from a fresh set of  new customers, too. That over 43% of people who search for Activities are under the age band of 18–25 years, against the traditional 28–40 years’ band that typically searches for air, accommodation or rail, is noteworthy. Activity searchers also comprise a high percent of females.

During Q4’16, we have seen 38% of total searches on our Mobile Apps attributable to the Activities product. Clearly, the breadth and depth of the product offering that covers categories across theme parks, skill workshops, F&B offerings, outdoor sports, luxury bike-rentals and thousands of things-to-do, seems to be resonating with our consumers.

We are seeing a very uniform distribution of transactions across different price ranges, starting from as low as Rs. 150 to over Rs. 750. But they seem to be very last-minute decisions with over 60% of our users making transactions just a day prior to the Activity.

On the Travel side of things, we are pleased with how Cleartrip Mobile is transitioning beyond just another transaction channel. With a ~64% YoY growth on Accommodation and 53% YoY growth on Air transactions, we see it evolving each day, to deliver a richer customer experience.

 

Introducing multi-city bookings

There’s a lot of firsts that we have shipped when it comes to travel apps. Split screen return flight bookings, Apple Watch app, 3D Touch support, Expressway and more. And we keep that tradition going with the introduction of what has been a top user request in the past few months.

Here is a very small sample of the messages we have been receiving.

Please start the multi-city flight booking option on the app.
Otherwise it’s a great app, but should have multi city search option as well on the app which is really missed and one has to go back to the web version
This cleartrip application is very useful for frequent traveller. You should add multicity option while buying ticket on international sectors, as it will be very helpful for buying stopover tickets.
Why is the multi city selection not available for the mobile app? I keep travelling abroad and miss that option which is only on desktop.

We’ve been listening.

Multi-City Search

And we are proud to introduce multi-city flight bookings on mobile – the first time in India (and may be the world). Now you can book up to four flights in the same booking. All with the same split screen design that we pioneered on the desktop and mobile apps.

Multi-City SRP

With the increase in complexity, getting the information display correct while also reducing the likelihood of errors was a big challenge. Which is why we are also bringing a new, slicker, faster flow reducing the number of clicks required to make a booking. There’s no need to go back and forth while you are making a booking. All required information and actions are now beautifully placed on the same screen.

Multi-City Bookflow

Update the Cleartrip app to the latest version to give multi-city bookings a spin and let us know what you think. As always drop a line to mobile@cleartrip.com.

Hotels for Pets

Yes! You read that right.
No! We’re not talking about pet-friendly hotels, but hotels purely for pets.

Whether 2-legged or 4-legged, we understand that it’s all about loving your family. And we’re going all out to make sure you get what you look for. Today on Cleartrip, we’re proud to introduce Hotels for pets.

 

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Our furry friends haven’t had it too easy. For the past many months, we’ve been researching different types of travelers in the accommodation space…and boy, there are many. We found a huge segment of people who wish to travel without their pets, but love them enough to not leave them in the lurch. Their reasons were:
  1. It’s too tiring & exhausting for the pet
  2. Change of place / environment effects the pet’s health
  3. Sometimes it’s impossible to take pets to the place that they are going to
  4. It’s also good to give pets their own space. Except dogs 😉
A quick analysis showed that these pets vary in size, breed and also category. Following is a snapshot of our research from 3 major cities; Mumbai, Bangalore & Delhi.

 

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Personally, I have faced challenges myself when looking for a dog-friendly hotel. Even if you find one, there are tons of restrictions.

This led us to change the game and think of partnering with hotels that are exclusively built for pets.

Surprised?

So were we, until we got to the field and started locating such hotels. Cleartrip has tied up with more than 800 hotels across India which are built only for pets. These hotels are fully-equipped with amenities and recreation options for pets, with prices starting at as low as Rs. 3,000 per night.

 

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Our Market Experts are discovering and contracting more such hotels each day, so you can be assured that your pets are going to stay in luxury.

All this, so our customers can holiday without a strand of worry about how their furry friends are, in their absence.

Search & book a fancy hotel for your pet today & let us know the experience.

When Cupid got cheeky

If you’ve followed the kind of posts we’ve put out in the past, you will have noticed how most of our communication has often been affable and informal, even bordering on quirky. We’ve always been big proponents of keeping it simple and nifty, rather than fancy and complicated. So we thought it was time to take a slightly different track. #KuchHatke, maybe.

And what better time to do that, than the onset of Valentine’s Day, or how some call it, ‘being-single-like-on-any-other-day’.

So we got a little sassy and tried our hand at some tongue-in-cheek memes and infographics. These range from offering ‘Utterly Useless Advice to Survive Valentine’s Day as a Single’ to highlighting how ‘some bfs and gfs are just plain evil’.

single-vs-married-life

snarky-comebacks-from-single-men

  Head over to our comical campaign pages and tell us what you think, will ya?

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And feel free to share these with your beloved. Or not 😉

But single, hooked or hitched…there’s something for everyone this Valentine’s Day on Cleartrip Activities no matter if you are in Mumbai, Bengaluru or New Delhi.

Cleartrip is on a hunt for a Lead Creative Designer

We at Cleartrip are looking for a Creative Lead Designer to work on all sorts of creative, fun & meaningful marketing stuff.

If your campaign just talks about products & features then we call it a handbill. We want you to tell a story to our users not by just pushing pixels but also by infusing life into your graphics. In addition to graphic design, we expect you to write crisp copy and plan the experience for marketing pages. You will be defining the direction of marketing design at Cleartrip.

We have an awesome product and we need your killer creative instincts to compliment it with great marketing. Designer that work on marketing shouldn’t be afraid to sell.

If you were with us before, here’s some work you might have done:

Worked on big budget campaigns like, “Every trip has a purpose”, “It just works”, “Cleartrip #kuchhatke”

Whenever Cleartrip launched a new feature, you would have defined the face of it along with product guys. You would’ve been a part of making Cleartrip sub brands like, Expressway, Quickeys, Way to go, Weekend Getaways and many more…

Over time if you were feeling adventurous, you’d dive into the world of product design and volunteer to add that credibility in the product with your awesome graphic skills.

On a whim, you’d plunge in to making t-shirts for your fellow workers or our thousands of Hotel & Activity Suppliers.

You’ll look at a hoarding and wonder how Cleartrip activities will look here. You will be equally passionate about SEM banners, online display advertising, news letters & offer pages. You treat a newspaper front page ad and a tiny gif with equal respect.

If you connect with this, connect with us

Quick actions on iOS with 3D Touch and Spotlight Search

Ever since we launched the Cleartrip app for iOS more than 3 years back, we’ve been committed to offering all our iOS device users the best travel apps on their iPhones, iPads and even Apple Watches. This commitment has led to many industry firsts – from supporting Passbook, redesigning for iOS 7, building a universal app for iPhone and iPad, to being the first Indian OTA to have an app for the Apple Watch.

Today, we’re proud to add another leaf to this bouquet: support for 3D Touch.

3d-touch

3D Touch adds, as the name says, a third dimension to the experience on iPhone. With a quick hard press on the screen you can preview content or access frequent tasks quickly. With 3D Touch support in the Cleartrip app for iOS you can access quick actions that you need most frequently. Right from the app icon you can now jump in to search flights, hotels or activities. We’ve also added a shortcut to your most recent upcoming trip. It’s as convenient as it can get.

The thing that makes us really proud about building the 3D Touch support in the Cleartrip app, is the fact that we did it without a device, or a simulator. A big shout out to our awesome iOS engineering team who managed to hack the simulator to do basic tests before we launched and managed to be in the store on launch day.

So far we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible with 3D Touch. Now that we have our hands on an iPhone 6S, we are busy pushing the limits of what is possible with 3D Touch. Watch this space for more.

iOS 9 Spotlight Search and Universal Links

With this update we’ve also added support for Spotlight Search and Universal links. Now whatever you do on the Cleartrip app – be it a flight, hotel or activity search or view a trip page – it is indexed and searchable from Spotlight. That means these results appear in Spotlight search when you search by a city name or activity name that you have previously searched or booked. You can simply tap on the result and get into the relevant trip or search result page directly.

spotlight-search

In this entire flow we have ensured that we only index results that you have shown an interest in or something that Cleartrip can help you with.

With Universal Links, when you search for flights or hotels on www.cleartrip.com in Safari on your iOS device, we will take you to the Cleartrip app to make the search and book experience faster and easier. This works only if you have the Cleartrip app installed on your device.

So when you get a new iPhone 6s/6S Plus give our 3D Touch Quick Actions a spin and let us know what you think. Feel free to drop a line with any ideas you may have on how you think 3D Touch can make your experience even better. And for those already on iOS 9, give Spotlight Search a try and let us know about your experience. As always drop a line to mobile@cleartrip.com

[Design nuances] Cleartrip Activities

Couple of weeks back, we announced our latest product – Cleartrip Activities. We sincerely hope that your weekends are never boring – ever! Today, we will share some of the nuances which went into designing the product.

We had 3 clear objectives with respect to design
  • A big part of travel is inspiration. Only if we get inspired, we try out new things. We wanted the new product to be inspiring people to head out.
  • At the same time, because of the lower ticket sizes involved, we wanted it to be light. No heavy duty consumption of content.
  • Activities are fun, and we wanted the design to showcase it.

The result was a more informal design language, which we will talk about in detail in the post below.

Activities collection page

This mainly showcases all the types of activities one can experience in a city. We tried multiple options but most of them either looked very flat or too busy. The grid layout gives it a editorial look and also makes sure we have at least 3 to 4 collections shown upfront on smaller devices. We seldom use “The Sans” font, but in this case, we wanted to give it a magazine editorial character. The collections which have multiple activities inside it are indicated by a small subtext counter.

Activity listing page

This screen lists out activities of similar type. For eg. All cycle rides in Bangalore. Each card shows title, timings and price. The timings are represented in a such a way that, the exact day and time is shown if the activity runs less than 3 times a week. If it runs more than 3 times, we just show that it runs on multiple days and at multiple times. This keeps the layout clean and simple.

Activity details page

This was the most exciting and challenging screen of the product. We are really happy the way it has turned out. Initial iterations were more on the lines of Cleartrip hotel details page where the information is much structured and functional. Since activities have a smaller ticket size, we wanted to be a bit more experimental in the approach. Thus we have a lot of white space.

The first block covers up the most important information. Image, price, title, one line description, time & the activity location. This, we felt is enough for a user to get interested and read further. Time also has got tags for quick reference – morning, afternoon or all day long.

The second block mainly talks about audience fit for that activity, and also details about the pricing. The initial idea of representing prices was to make a table, but it seemed too structured. The revised look is meant towards the most often use case, and for other edge cases there is a fall back with titles. Inclusions and pick up points or meeting points are mentioned next.

The third section highlights one photo to break the monotony and talks in detail about the activity. “Read more” takes you to a modal which describes the entire activity details along with cancellation information and other highlights.

The fourth and the last section shows Organiser details, Address of the activity on a map, Things to carry and any specific notes from the organiser.

Once you’ve decided on an activity, you can choose the date, time slot, number of travellers and, then you enter the seamless Cleartrip booking experience with which you’re already familiar.

You can access all your booked activities in “My trips” on the app itself. They also show up on the desktop site incase if you wish to print invoices and do more.

The look and feel of this product has been intentionally designed to be different than the rest of the app. It doesn’t follow the conventional style, but yet it flows with the product in hand. The early feedback has been very encouraging, and gives us more motivation to experiment & explore new design patterns. Do let us know what you think of the new approach.

Introducing Activities

“Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them.” ~John Shirley

In any lifetime, weekend is a precious commodity — time to take a break, with friends, with family or with that special someone. The weekend arrives, and just rolls by. All this sense of glorious freedom and anticipation doesn’t seem to hold the same liberating promise that we were looking forward to. We wait for vacations, but it’s hard to cram all our desires into 1-2 weeks per year.

Contrast this with the Saturdays in school! Something fun was waiting for you, and the 1:00pm bell was the only thing standing in your way. Cleartrip wants to recreate that feeling you got right before the school bell rang!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Activities, a handpicked & comprehensive collection of activities, experiences and things to do in your city and also when you are away. For the first time in India, you can now browse and book interesting experiences, from a collection of over 2000 activities across 30 cities spanning both metros and touristic destinations.

We are striving hard to bring the holiday experience to your city, and without you having to travel. As of now, we have a wide range of 150 themes – Culinary classes, Food walks, Segway tours, Luxury bike rentals, Yachting, Adventure, Go karting, Photography trails, Hiking, Kids, Day outings, Night treks, and more.

Even while traveling, irrespective of how & where you have booked your travel, you can book these activities at the destination. Our team of city experts has put together the best activities working with the highest quality local activity providers to deliver a great experience.

You can discover and book all these amazing activities on all of our apps – iOS, Android and Windows. The activities home screen showcases all the collections available as part of the city. Pick a specific activity and get to the activity detail screen, which showcases the activity, and the necessary details like meeting point, duration, operational days/hours, activity description and the service provider information. There is something to do for everyone, and at prices starting from Rs. 200.

 

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All the payment options are supported – credit cards, debit cards, net banking and 3rd party wallets.

In parallel, we want to reach out to all activity providers, who are championing these experiences, to join us in this endeavor and help us reimagine travel. Please visit our partners page or reach out to us at esp@cleartrip.com, and we will do all it takes to onboard you at the earliest.

As Cleartrippers, we have been mystery shopping these activities for the last few weeks, and we have loved every one of these experiences. A few personal favorites – Microlight flying in Bangalore, Feni making in Goa, taking a yacht in Mumbai & Adventurous gaming in Delhi! One of the guys remarked in jest, that we have enough activities to fill the remainder of his life’s weekends.

Give it a spin, head out, and have fun. And as always, do send us your feedback to mobile@cleartrip.com.

Looking for product designers

Cleartrip breathes design. One of our founders is a designer and thats how it has become part of our DNA. We have been consistently setting high benchmarks in design – Be it iOS7 design, roundtrip results on mobile or an app for Apple watch. We believe in the power of design and entire organization is highly sensitised to it. Even our engineers can give other designers a run for their money when it comes to pixel perfection.

We have some exciting projects lined up and are looking for young, enthusiastic and passionate product designers. Working as a product designer at Cleartrip is a classic opportunity to let the world know that you care deeply about user experience. Also, we believe design is as much about broader user experience as it is about attention to detail. You’ll be at the forefront of the company’s efforts and be directly responsible for decisions that shape the product. Sounds like your type? Join us.

You can write directly to kedar.nimkar@cleartrip.com. Find out more about the job descriptions for web and mobile designers in our jobs section.

There are also lot more exciting job opportunities at Cleartrip