Beautiful Destinations began its journey as a passion project by its founder, Jeremy Jauncey, to share beautiful photography on his Instagram from the places he had traveled. With help from a community of content creators, the account flourished into Beautiful Destinations.
Fast forward to today: with over 13 million followers, the page has been the go-to promoter for major travel brands like the Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, not to mention the Department of Tourism for the Philippines, Macao, Egypt, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, USA, and Jamaica. In just seven years, Jauncey has grown Beautiful Destinations into a fast-growing media empire with over 50 employees in four offices across London, NYC, Hong Kong, and Manila.
The company came to BlueSwitch to take their brand to the next level by creating a travel e-commerce site like no other. Beautiful Destinations had a vision of creating interactive, content-rich, mobile-first travel guides that would offer their followers a unique, new way to learn about the culture, sights, and activities in dream travel destinations around the world.
This required a first-of-its-kind, Shopify Plus site with content-heavy functionality, designed for rapid creation of gorgeous new pages, to be completed in just ONE MONTH. That’s right, one month!
The challenge was figuring out how to streamline everything from code to content so that Beautiful Destinations’ video footage would be at the forefront of the site and would result in a premium-tier mobile experience.
We tried something never done before on Shopify: AMP stories (soon to be renamed Google Stories). AMP, which stands for “Accelerated Mobile Pages,” is a Google-led initiative that creates fast, aesthetically pleasing experiences for users on mobile devices (think Snapchat and Instagram-like Stories that are also search-engine-friendly). It has never been attempted before on the Shopify platform. That is, until now.
To bridge the gap between Shopify and AMP, we leveraged BlueSwitch’s existing middleware platform, Multify, designed exclusively for Shopify, to allow for the implementation of content through Shopify’s existing data structures.
BlueSwitch’s Shopify expertise was indispensable to this innovative new endeavor, ultimately hijacking Shopify’s existing structure to output these technical, marvelous pages. The result is a custom-built page designer that allows Beautiful Destinations’ team of content creators to quickly build out new pages with ease.
Working together, both the BlueSwitch design team and Beautiful Destinations team procured a stunning set of designs that would even further push the capabilities of the AMP Story standard, which allows for an immersive tour through some of the most breathtaking locales from around the world.
The coup de grâce, however, is the search friendliness. By utilizing Google’s next-gen AMP standard, these pages are granted an innumerable SEO boost, allowing them to get maximum exposure and a high CTR with minimal effort.
The AMP Story travel guides are now a centerpiece of Beautiful Destinations’ 2020 initiatives. Beautiful Destinations’ content creators travel all over the world and immerse themselves in the culture of their surroundings to get rich, organic content. These travels will result in fresh, new guides after each trip has been concluded. Visitors will soon be able to learn, reserve stays, and book experiences in a way never seen before.
By inspiring people to travel, connect, and have a positive impact on the world, BD is far from reaching its final destination.
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