Make trip shopping a frictionless experience

I built a 0 to 1 video shopping feed to inspire users and help book travel . The MVP led to a 14% increase in app liquidity & a 7% increase in conversion.
iPhone mockup


There is currently a gap in the market between inspiration platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok, and travel purchasing platforms, such as Expedia. A travel video feed would combine social discovery with the convenience of e-commerce to make trip shopping easier. I built a video shopping feed where users get inspired by watching authentic travel reviews from past travelers and can purchase hotels (and eventually flights and other experiences) directly from these video reviews.


The MVP led to a 14% increase in app liquidity and a 7% increase in conversion.


The opportunity


Sneak peek

With the initial MVP we had over 900 video uploads, which is about 18% of users in the experiment. There was also a 14% increase in app liquidity and a 7% increase in conversion.

Discovery -

What do we need to build for a social app to be successful?

For any social app to be successful, users 1) need to be willing to upload their own content and 2) engage with other users.So, first we needed to validate if users on the Hopper app would be willing to become “creators” and produce enough quality content to lead to additional hotel bookings. This first step was crucial to building the MVP.

Building in-app camera functionality proved difficult, so I built a scrappy website where users could upload videos and see examples of what we were looking for in this video feed. This website helped us gather data about whether or not users would be willing to upload their travel content. Users in the experiment could enter the website through a large entrypoint on the Hopper homescreen. Additionally, users were sent emails and texts during crucial points in their booking journey -immediately after booking, prior to check-in, and right after check-out. In the first pass, we focused more on content creators or Hopper users who may be interested in being a "Hopper creator." 
User Research

Marketing to the average traveler vs. content creator

I user tested with 20+ participants to really streamline the information on this upload website. A pivotal point was realizing that instead of focusing on content creators, we should focus on the average traveler who books trips on Hopper to 1)create more authentic content and 2) have a larger volume of videos.

Key Insights: 
 - Shifting away from the idea of a "program"

- Removing vernacular using the idea of "content creator" or  "Hopper Creators"

- Emphasize to the average traveler how easy uploading reviews can be!

- Prioritizing videos that discuss price and location - the two things Hopper users really care about when booking.

Fastracking the MVP with Flip

After launching our upload website with stronger targeting to the average traveler, we received strong signal that Hopper users are willing to upload - with about900 uploads (about 18% of users in the test) in our initial test. With this, my team made the decision to begin building our first video feed MVP. To fast track the MVP, we used Flip as our playbook for what key features we might need to build first. Flip is a video based commerce platform that had 500% user base growth over 2022.

Building an understanding of video UIs and design choices on the Flip app

I first took the time to dissect the different flows on the Flip app to understand why certain choices were made. Additionally, I made note of the most important features required to launch an MVP video feed experience:

1. Smooth navigation between videos and tabs
2. Add to cart flow
3. The ability to upload videos
4. Product search and additional information

Travel and e-commerce platforms don't have a 1:1 correlation

Using Flip as our playbook proved challenging because travel and e-commerce are entirely different industries. Therefore, I had to carefully consider how a specific feature would function in the context of travel or decide if it didn't make much sense. Take, for example, the money counter. In the Flip app, every time a user purchases a product, writes a review, or watches multiple videos, they receive a small incremental amount of money ($1-2 dollars) as a reward. While this small amount serves as ample incentive for continued engagement with a makeup product like Flip*, typically priced under $20, it didn't translate well for a travel product like Hopper, where the average hotel room costs $250 per night. Additionally, it wasn't clear how a larger reward could potentially bias videos. As a result, we decided to table the money counter in the MVP.

*At the time of analysis, Flip was solely and a makeup and skincare e-commerce platform.
The initial proposed video feed MVP vs. the equivalent on the Flip App

Changes to the proposed MVP

After conducting remote user testing and analyzing what makes sense for travel, here are some optimizations I made prior to launch:

-Allowing multiple uploads at once to facilitate easier creation
-Implementing bottom navigation for convenient entry and exit, as opposed to having no clear entry point
-Relocating the cart for improved user experience


We had a lot of great success with our MVP: 
-14% increase in app liquidity
-7% increase in conversion after adding the bottom navigation
-Market share for hotels featured in the playlist   increased 2x (which was all Las Vegas hotels)


This was a really fun, experimental project for me where I got to do a lot of visioning and work with new design paradigms that I hadn't worked with before. I also became an expert at Figma animations and prototyping.

However, making video UIs usable proved challenging. While having a background video constantly playing with icons/actions/flows on top is a familiar design pattern in other social media apps, it felt distracting for a travel app, especially when users are scanning for prices. I look forward to learning more about video-focused UIs!

What's next

 ✅  Users need to see relevant videos
In the V1 of the video feed, users were only seeing Vegas videos. Based on evidence from user testing, showing videos based on past searches would lead to more bookings.

✅  We need to increase the number of uploads and the customer to creator ratio
For this idea to scale, we need at least 1000 uploads per day to ensure there are enough videos for users to interact with. Additionally, we need to figure out how to incentivize customers to become creators. Is monetization the key? If so, how can we ensure that video reviews aren't inherently biased?