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Mobile App Success Story: How TripAdvisor Did It

It is true that customers’ behavior has changed. Therefore we see more and more companies focusing their attention on providing a complex experience with a popular website and a well – designed mobile app. You probably remember when we talked about AliExpress, and now it is time to focus our attention on another pleasure of life, traveling. TripAdvisor is one of those businesses that managed to convert its mobile app in a trustful companion for its users. As you probably guessed, this article has the purpose to describe the entire process.

Brilliant Idea

It becomes a cliché to talk about entrepreneurs who encountered a problem and the solution found represented the beginning of an empire. TripAdvisor has a long history since 2000 when Steve Kaufer, who has a degree in computer science from Harvard University, wanted to find the necessary information for one of his travel destinations. Observing the lack of a proper tool for this purpose he collaborated with Tom Palka, Langley Steinert and Nick Shanny for creating From the start, the site allowed users to leave reviews about their vacations and to upload photos for proving their point. Now, customers can find everything they need for an outstanding adventure. They can find great deals on flights and hotels, they are also able to discover the best restaurants and let’s not forget about the core function of finding the useful information provided by other users. Following the mobile trend, these services are available for iOS and Android users, impressing them with native apps and helping them to plan their next journey.

How TripAdvisor Did It

For TripAdvisor, the challenge wasn’t to promote the app but to create an enhanced system for their customers who wanted a seamless experience, no matter what device they are using in a certain moment.

Splash Screen

You probably know that a carefully designed splash screen drives brand loyalty and improves UX. With a huge database, TripAdvisor app takes a little time until it is fully functional but an intro screen with disappearing text grabs users’ attention for a few seconds. You can observe a green background that matches TripAdvisor theme and the company logo with that funny owl. Additionally, some wisely chosen words remind users the reasons why they should wait for opening the app.


Everybody says that onboarding is the factor that shows if users love or hate your app. TripAdvisor presents its features in an intuitive way and a simple page allows you to sign in using your Google or Facebook credentials or to create a special account if you prefer that way. It is amazing how you can set your preferences with a couple of taps. From that moment, you are on your way to decide your next destination.

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Available Offline

While it is great to take advantage of the entire collection of tools provided by TripAdvisor, sometimes it is impossible to have a proper internet connection. Maybe you are lost in the middle of the desert or you are trapped in an unknown area in the jungle. Or, you just don’t want to pay for expensive data roaming in a foreign country but you still want to use TripAdvisor to learn about your next destination. In this case, it is good to know that you have the opportunity to save maps, reviews, and other information for more than 300 cities all over the world onto your device.

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Think about the next scenario which happens to all of us at least once a year. You have a week off work and you want to spend it in an amazing place. Wouldn’t be great if one of your friends who knows you really well to do the entire job for you when you want to find the best hotel, to share with you authentic opinions about that specific resort or to answer your questions? Plus, while you are traveling he can come with you and reveal interesting events near your current location. Well with today’s technology, you only need a smartphone and a smart app, like TripAdvisor to accomplish all these requirements. Location-based services along with other great features allows TripAdvisor to be there whenever you need it and to make sure that you have a brilliant story to tell Monday morning at the office.

Important Acquisitions

Even though TripAdvisor started small it advanced being a go-to brand whenever customers want to leave their houses and to enjoy great experiences. But, it is good to know that it didn’t happen overnight and during the process many factors influenced its path. It is worth mentioning that clever decisions put this company on the right track while great acquisitions brought the needed elements required in order to create a complete solution for all groups of customers.

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Press Coverage

It is awesome when you hear that the company which helped you for years with your research process for finding the place where you want to spend your holiday, has released a mobile app. But to see that exact same app on an authority website it is more impressive. This is the reason why press coverage is an important technique for showing the features available on smartphone and tablets. Justin Sablich talks about TripAdvisor app in an article published a couple of months ago in New York Times explains in what manner the app helped him to plan a trip to North Adams, Massachusetts.

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Bonus Tip: Measure Every Move You Make

During an interview for Inc. Steve Kaufer revealed the secret of his success. He said: “I love knowing what the data tells me”. Defining the right metric for every action is crucial for the growth of a company. And it makes sense because you can’t invest your resources in plans built on assumptions. That is available for all domains, not just traveling. With the plethora of tools available today it is a huge mistake to focus your strategy on just a few clicks which don’t bring you any value.

Final Thoughts

For many huge companies, a smart strategy was to go in the direction pointed by their customers. It is one thing to decide that you need a mobile app for your business; it is another thing to get it right. But TripAdvisor managed to provide an improved experience tailored to their users’ needs and it represents a great example for many other companies in the same situation.


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