“Tooreest- Tour Guide booking app”
Headquartered in Singapore, Tooreest is a tour guide booking application to book local people as a tour guide for different services they offer over multiple locations around the globe.
Tooreest is a very helpful app for travelers to plan their travel quickly. Hire some local guides and book different packages and tickets at cheap rates. It was love at first sight.
Platforms on which Tooreest app is available:
- Android Application
- iOS Application
- Descriptive Website
We will cover the below aspects of the project:
The aim here is to help you make more informed decisions in terms of features and find the right IT partners. Furthermore, It would help in saving extra costs or getting duped by fake companies. Also by Sales consultancy, we want to educate buddy entrepreneurs with tested strategies to acquire your initial clients.
- Understanding the problem from the user’s perspective
- Hidden Challenges
- The behavior of the target audience
- Adding a feature for acquiring client after launch: Our USP
- Documents Required
- Graphic Designing
- Selecting the Development Team
- Deciding the target audience
- Selecting the country
- Best places to find a target audience
- Getting Users on Board
The moment I heard the idea, I jumped with joy. Furthermore, being a traveler, I have faced hours of research to decide the right destination. And to get relevant booking suggestions for the best-customized experience.
Tooreest brought exactly the solution needed. However, the ability to engage with the local people who are willing to engage at the affordable cost.
Before you reach out to any development team you should have the below things ready with you. So, This will help the IT partner to understand your perspective better and avoid any possibility of confusion
Don’t worry your IT partner will correct you and give an appropriate solution when required.
- The document, mentioning all your requirements/thoughts. Simple layman language would do.
- Reference website with a similar feature, if any.
- Reference website for your designs preference.
Understanding the problem users face:
A traveler on average takes a month to decide the location he wants to visit. Also Another 1 month to customize the trip as per his preferences.
These were the points that matter the most.
- Verified LOCAL person,
Who could be the best person to help you plan the trip?
A LOCAL person.
Who could be the best person to show you around the town with safety?
Someone with good knowledge of the market. A LOCAL person.
The decision to divide the tour guide into categories was critical, for best user experience:
- Food, shopping,
- Tour Packages, etc.
Tooreest (tour guide booking) app catering to international travelers which means it should be usable by people from all geographies, and languages.
- Day-Light Effect on timezones
- Time Difference
- Automating Government ID Verification for different countries
- Ease of understanding the Application by a different audience
- PayPal 3-tier Payment integration
The behavior of Target Audiences:
How did we decide which is our target audience? You can find that in the Sales section below.
In order to create an engage your users you should have a design with which they are already comfortable. Furthermore, this lets us analyze where the target audience resides and which feature are they comfortable with.
- Country of the major travelers:
China, the USA, Korea
- How is the business done:
Majorly in cash through agents, or tour package portals.
- Most used apps/ websites for references for a comfortable feature:
- China: WeChat (business), Mobile Baidu (Searching), QQ (Chatting)
- USA: Facebook, Google, FB Messenger
- South Korea: KakaoTalk, Korail, Itour Seoul
Guides and local people:
- Most used apps/websites for reference to a comfortable feature:
Vietnam: Facebook, Viber, Zalo
- Language convenience:
Not very comfortable with English, hence it might require a tutorial.
- Most used apps/websites for reference to a comfortable feature:
Final Features Decision phase:
Features to acquire users: USP
The product was launched in Vietnam. Tooreest had a feature for vendors to request a partnership with added benefits (no-extra cost). Since online travelers can be acquired through digital-marketing. Moreover, Tooreest wanted to capture the offline market without additional cost. Also, Local tour guide got digital publicity, Tooreest got offline presence + some great content for their social media page, making it achieve 1200+ followers in 3 months.
Ability to on-demand chat with the guide from relevant category.
Ability to hire a person to be with you physically when you reach the destination.
- API for Day-Light Effect
- Video-tutorial to guide the first time user over the Android and iOS application
- PayPal payment gateway
- The on-boarding process for guides
As a policy, I only act as the Project Manager for my clients. I do not build projects or have in-house developers. Furthermore, This enables me to find the best company at the right cost for my clients without any alternate intentions.
As a Project Manager, we handle the Designing, Development, follow-ups, timely delivery, feedbacks, and all the project related management. While for clients it is only us who are answerable. Single point of contact.
I have a network of tried and tested 50+ companies/developers across the globe for different budgets and requirements.
Documenting the requirement:
These are the minimum documents that I take from my vendors. While It helps in evaluating if they have truly understood the requirement ensuring a smooth delivery. Probably the most important thing to ensure smooth delivery without quarrels.
A lot of times, in the haste of closing the deal or in the laziness to do the extra effort. Vendors don’t give their clients these documents. Therefore, which results in confusion and problems at the time of delivery.
- Change Request Document
- Flow Diagram
- User Case Diagram
Rough sketch of where will the different elements be placed on the screens of the application.
The in-vision tool helps to create a good prototype. So, Before starting development, you should have the exact experience of how would your tour guide application feels like once it is created.
In-Vision has a commenting facility which helps the client to easily communicate their thoughts. Moreover, with Invision the minor details of the design are captured and delivered with precision to the designer.
The way I do it is, I intentionally give half information and create loopholes to check how good the development company. Also, The company’s ability to think of innovative ways and how quickly they can catch the loopholes is a test of their talent.
- Ability to spot the intentionally placed loopholes,
- A company which satisfies the technology stack,
- Dealt with multiple time zones in booking feature,
- Handled Payment gateway,
- Worked on Marketplace model,
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: Travels often and loves interacting with people.
Sales Consultancy :
In 90% of cases, we make the targets for the next 1 year and then divide it into goals for each month. Consequently, it doesn’t matter if we are working with on a contract for a month, half-yearly or annually. Therefore, we would still follow the same process.
If you are not confident to give quality to ensure repeat work then what is the sense of working at all.
We prefer to work only on organic growth and don’t attracting any additional expenditure.
Deciding the target audience
The audience is pretty much everyone. Therefore, anyone traveling on to celebrate a weekend is potentially our client.
On the other hand, we have people who are gregarious enough to show fellow travelers around the town and the professional tour guide.
Selecting the Country:
Startups, almost always, have limited resources. Hence finding a place where there are high acceptance and requirement of the service is critical to a successful launch. Otherwise, you would have to spend a bulk on marketing, and awareness to get the audience on-board.
Don’t limit yourself to the country of your origin or residence. Even, working from India, I have helped start-ups launch products in multiple locations internationally. And have received tremendous success, so even you can.
Key Deciding factors:
- Developing/ underdeveloped country,
- The country which has a decent number of travelers 3M+,
- Least number of cities aggregating to the highest percentage of travelers
- Should be in South East Asia (makes traveling easy),
VIETNAM was perfect with 8 Million Yearly travelers with 80% traveling to 3 cities.
Hired a company in Vietnam to launch the product. Got an overwhelming response of 3,500 downloads in the very first month of the launch.
Best Places to find Target Audience:
I can’t finish writing the list websites where you can find the guides. Like, TripAdvisor, LinkedIn, Facebook, Tripoto, etc. Nonetheless, finding people who would be interested in helping travelers in their trip is like a community and can’t be found on their websites.
To target the locals the most useful are Facebook groups, pages, and Travel blog writers.
Without the tour guide on the portal, even if we got the travelers, there would be no one service to book. Hence we targeted tour guide for the first 2 months and got whooping 200 active users.
With 4 different strategies and portals like Facebook, LinkedIn, TripAdvisor, Viator. We created a database of 100,000 guides.
In 1 month we had 200+ guides verified and registered. However, the reason conversion rate stands at almost 0.2% is because Tooreest verifies all the guides with their official document to make ensure the safety of the travelers.
Users/Consumers: Generating Revenue
Based on the research we found that a maximum number of travelers to Vietnam are from China, Japan, and South Korea. Hence we started contacting the tour operators from those places to understand traveler’s behaviors.
We even connected to all the local travel groups to the target countries on Facebook, RenRen for China and other such local social media platforms.
In the 1st month, we had 10 Travellers onboard and a lot of interest from local players for tie-ups.
- Getting Users On-Board
Digital Acquisition Strategy:
- Social Media Games to increase page engagement,
- FB and other social media groups and pages,
- Finding People over the different platforms and connecting with them on chatting applications like Zalo, WeChat, etc.
Offline Acquisition Strategy:
- Tie-ups with local vendors,
- Tie-up with travelers to use Tooreest marked products,
- Offers to attract local guides to take through Tooreest App,
The journey is fun and there is a long road ahead.