If you’ve been following Klook closely, you might have noticed that last month we launched a very different type of product. Klook Home is our first foray into home-based experiences and a step towards combating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the travel industry. Users in 14 markets across Asia Pacific and Europe can now book a whole new type of offering: DIY bubble tea kits, online meditation classes, online lantern making workshops and many more experiences to be enjoyed from the safety of their homes. In markets where movement restrictions have eased, users will also see more curated experiences close to home.
Curious what working on an international project such as this looks like, all while the team is working from home? Read on!
Why Klook Home?
Klook is a travel experience booking platform. We are a go-to app for getting skip-the-line tickets to theme parks and attractions, booking an exclusive tour or scoring a great deal on a rail pass. So why did we decide to pivot to online classes and other at-home experiences?
“The smaller merchant partners [we work with] are going through a devastating time due to COVID-19,” explains Nathan Szabo, Klook’s Senior Director, Business Development. “We wanted to allow them to continue to sell on our platform. It was really about adapting to the external environment and moving quickly.”
Klook’s homepage looks a little different nowadays with more home-based experiences on offer.
Some of the businesses that used to provide in-person experiences before the current health crisis have been able to pivot to online experiences, such as online yoga or fitness classes. Other businesses are offering a hybrid product: they send users DIY kits for crafts or meal preparation and supplement them with an online workshop. And while many merchants are not planning to stick to this business model long-term, it allows them to tide over the crisis.
Tip: If you’re applying for a role at Klook, familiarise yourself with the products on our platform.
The idea for the project stemmed from several regional Business Development teams exploring home-based experiences, such as easy-to-follow meal kits, in their markets. Klook’s Marketing team thought they might be onto something and tied separate initiatives into a global push, bringing together teams across functions and locations.
For Sarah Wan, Klook’s SEA Marketing Director (ID, MY, SG), Klook Home was a lesson in collaboration. Working with teams in seven different markets, the key was “understanding where to draw certain compromises, given that the market conditions were very different,” she says. “And we’re not even talking about cultural nuances but the actual situation in the COVID-19 crisis. Really hearing from different markets, understanding what their concerns are and adapting the approach for each market.“
Our Creative team came up with a new visual identity for Klook Home.
At Klook, we like to repeat that we move fast. But Klook Home completely re-defined what that means, even for an agile company like us.
“We had four weeks to source the products, sign the contracts, negotiate everything, do the onboarding [add the products to Klook platforms], get it published. And then we had about a week to work with Marketing more closely to brush up on the content,” says Nathan. “Things usually don’t happen this quickly.”
The tight timeline of the project meant that the Marketing, Creative and Technology teams had to work in tandem with the Business Development team. They would find out what products Business Development was pursuing for Klook Home and work on marketing plans, design and the tech infrastructure simultaneously. Regular communication and transparency were crucial for this balancing act.
Klook’s Online Virtual Experiences take users on a new adventure every weekend in June.
Nathan attributes the lightning-fast speed and efficiency of the project to the dedication of the team. “The team were really passionate about this project. They were working with a lot of their existing merchant partners, some of these merchants have been going out of business lately... So they were really motivated to work fast and get the word out about this opportunity. It’s really the people on the ground that made this happen quickly.”
The biggest win of Klook Home has been giving our merchant partners a platform to continue selling their products during the COVID-19 crisis. But we wouldn’t be ourselves if we didn’t take this opportunity to learn a thing or two for the future.
“A lot of our ongoing projects are geared for… I don’t want to call it ‘recovery’ because recovery suggests a timeframe. Our projects are geared towards the future. We will be ready for it whenever that is.”
“One of the great things about our platform is that you get instant results. Even in these difficult times, we have enough traffic to get instant feedback on whether something is going to work or not. You put something online today and you can see tomorrow if it’s successful,” says Nathan. In the time when most travel businesses were forced to come to a standstill, Klook Home continues to bring in new data points and learnings.
“[We learned a lot] from the UX perspective. For example, this is the first time we see the impact of having a buffered video on the homepage,” says Michael Lee, Global Creative Design Director, whose team designed a new visual identity for Klook Home. “Visually, it is quite impactful and that has led to some discussion about keeping a video in the background of the platform. We were able to use this opportunity to test something new and for me, that is one of the biggest creative takeaways.”
The very first Virtual Interactive Experience, where Beatrice from Marketing took viewers to Casa Battló in Barcelona.
Asked to let us on some of Klook’s upcoming projects, the team said they were busy monitoring the situation in all our markets and preparing the next steps, whether it’s close-to-home experiences or domestic travel.
“A lot of our ongoing projects are geared for… I don’t want to call it “recovery” because recovery suggests a timeframe. Our projects are geared towards the future. We will be ready for it whenever that is,” says Michael.
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Posted by Klook Careers