Most of the times I wonder, why lower priced products and services have to look cheap? If we have a website, a product or its packaging designed, we have to pay for it anyways. Then why not invest just a little bit more into a look & feel that actually grabs more attention AND makes potential customers feel better?
Let’s see the travel industry as an example: there are the high-end service providers with beautiful websites and lush services: everything looks good, is inspiring and prices are – as expected – on the higher level, too. Then there is the lower end of the market with flight & hotel booking sites, and their look & feel is the total opposite of the term ‘visually appealing’. Customers have no choice but to concentrate on booking and closing off the window quickly, because it just does not inspire anyone to spend more time on a poorly designed site. And quite honestly, I rather pay a bit more money to book my travels on a more appealing website – because it makes me feel better to view something nice – than wasting my time on an ugly and annoying user interface just to save a few cents.
Luckily, now there is an option for future travelers on budget, who are spontaneous & easy-going, and appreciate searching for the ultimate deal on a nicely designed webpage with beautiful imagery: it is Drungli, the addictive, powerful flight search engine. User-friendly layout with just a couple of fields to be completed such as date and departure city, et voilà: it brings you the lowest flight fares in a nicely designed way, in no time – without all the bling-bling ads and ‘book quickly’ pop-up windows. Drungli does not even call itself a ‘booking site’, it is an ‘Adventure generator‘! How cool is that?
“We want to inspire you to travel more and get your share of beautiful adventures all around the world. Be surprised, enjoy life, make new friends, live happier.”
Is not this a nice, ‘down-to-earth’ way of talking to customers, even if they are on budget? Some of them will have a bigger budget later on and will remember how they were treated by service providers, when they were on the tighter end. Websites and prices come and go, but feelings and impressions are here to stay – for a long time.
Drungli, a Budapest-based business founded by Hungarian Orsolya Anna Toth and her Albanian partner Ereid Gjergji, was launched November 2011 and it currently operates in an open beta version offering its services free of charge to bring spontaneous customers the lowest flight fares on a given route. Beside the instant booking service, interested customers can also subscribe to certain routes to receive alerts, if fare drops under the set price level on the desired route – all the while visitors can view images about wonderful scenery taken by hobby photographers and destination promoters, with the description just a click away.
Right now the service covers European destinations, but plans for a global coverage are on the way as well as a beautifully designed mobile application to be launched at the beginning of summer. This young start up already had over one million search queries and over hundred thousand bookings since April 2012.
I think the idea is pretty simple – as it should be – and execution is brilliant. Drungli managed to build a community of like-minded people and has a fun & effortless approach that is truly refreshing. Founders have identified a gap in the market and were spot on with the current zeitgeist, addressing serial travelers in their own language. Personally, I would never wish any new, promising business to be copied, but in this case I really have the desire that other website operators will evolve by having visually appealing layouts and providing top notch services – even if they are in the low budget segment, because most of the time it is about the attitude and not about money.
Source of images: courtesy of Drungli.