Each day it becomes clearer: Today’s consumers do much of their browsing and buying electronically, and increasingly they expect their e-shopping experience to be as smooth and seamless as possible, no matter what kind of device they are using.
The expectations of those customers were foremost in staffers’ minds at the DTO when the team designed the new VisitDelaware.com website, which launched in August with cutting-edge functionality and a clean, fresh look.
We urge you to check it out for yourself. Here are some of the new features you’ll find:
- A modern, visually-driven look, with an enhanced focus on appealing photos, presented with impact and variety. The emphasis now is on allowing the traveler to “consume” information in a variety of ways – through photos, through text, even through videos.
- In the “Trip Builder” section, visitors now can create their own personal journey based on such areas of interest as History, Outdoor and Events. There’s also a new “heart” icon functionality that allows travelers to “like” an item and add it to the Trip Builder.
- On the home page, images from DTO’s Instagram feed are featured. DTO continuously crowd-sources great Delaware-related photos by using the #Delagram hashtag.
- Enhanced capability to automatically place “related” content in front of the visitor (using technology that’s similar to what is found on such shopping sites as Amazon or Target). This functionality is crucial for enticing visitors to explore additional trip ideas, keeping them on-site longer, and increasing the likelihood of visitation.
- Easier-to-use pop-up navigation boxes that appear when users hover over the Main Menu categories. Visitor preferences guided the content of these boxes, which were chosen based on the top pages that visitors searched for.
- A new structure that allows visitors to explore more deeply by geography (e.g. by specific cities).
- Better booking and reservations functionality: Travelers can now book right from the hotel listings (using Orbitz), or reserve a table at a restaurant from the Dining Directory (using OpenTable).
- A new functionality that’s designed to optimize viewing no matter what device the consumer uses, from mobile to laptop (i.e., “Responsive Web Design”). Transition from computer screen to mobile device is now seamless, and in-market travelers can now easily access “What’s Nearby” and use interactive Map Explorer technology.
- Freshly written content that is mindful of satisfying travelers’ needs for experiential knowledge and information, creating a picture and “feel” for each place.
- Updated Event, Attraction, and Business listings
- Heightened Social Media presence, through a dropdown menu at top of home page.
The site is designed from the top down to encourage visitors to dive more deeply, layer by layer, into their areas of interest – and by doing do, increase the chances they will find a rewarding Delaware experience. Here’s how it works, from a design perspective:
From each main page of Delaware’s major attractions or regions – such as “Delaware Beaches,” or “Northern Delaware” – the visitor scrolls down to find pictorial elements that invite them to explore the topic more deeply. On the main Delaware Beaches page, for example, as visitors scroll down, they discover photo-elements that will take them on a journey through the region’s Highlights – such as “What’s your Beach Style,” and “Best Sunrise and Sunset Spots.” Scrolling farther down on the main Beaches page, the visitor sees even more photo-dominated subcategories – these designed to make it easier to “find stuff.” This is where visitors can “Browse Listings” by attractions, dining or places to stay, for example.
As always, Delaware businesses and attractions are encouraged to use VisitDelaware.com as a free tool for promotion – visit these pages if you would like to Add a Coupon that visitors can use, Add a Business Listing, or update your listing with a bigger, better photo.