What’s your favorite drink? Which shoe best fits your lifestyle?

Answer wisely, because DELI Global is betting on questions like these to transform how locals and travelers alike explore the world’s cities.

DELI is a free Dutch-based web-app aimed at delivering personalized travel recommendations based on each user’s individual tastes. Leveraging a personality algorithm developed in partnership with University of Amsterdam and University of Stockholm, DELI asks six simple questions before providing a custom list of things to do and see across 6 categories in the destination city: Music, Bars, Culture, Shopping, Restaurants, and Outdoors. 

The quiz algorithm is reactive (meaning your responses influence available choices for questions that follow) and sorts users into one of 14 personality types: 7 for tourists (including ‘Alternative Souls’ and ‘Wild Ones’), and 7 for locals (including the ’Nouveau Riche’ and ‘Forever Young’). DELI’s database of local hotspots is constantly updated to ensure its recommendations never go stale.

DELI’s simple, user-centric model should prove a welcome change for travelers accustomed to spending hours wading through aggregated content on TripAdvisor, Yelp, or other travel planning tools. Aside from the excessive time it takes to digest troves of user-submitted feedback, these sites can be confusing. For every reviewer saying this was The Best Place She's Ever Been, there’s another saying he wouldn’t be caught dead going back.

Moreover, today’s leading travel resources are built for reviewers, not readers. Designed to aggregate and promote local destinations based on reviews, these tools reward the mainstream in a cyclical manner that doesn’t account for personal taste and makes it difficult for travelers to discover opportunities off the beaten path. 

Founder Anna Kolk hopes DELI will turn this traditional model on its head. “We focus on our users instead of the other way around,” she said. “We don’t tell people where to go/what to do based on our own opinion or preference, but let them take the test which will create a tailored experience with respect to their personality and lifestyle."

And DELI’s app design is admirably aligned with its mission of personalization. The experience is simple and intuitive, ensuring users arrive at their custom recommendations as quickly as possible. The interface is richly designed with an artful minimalism that reflects unique local culture and drives emotional resonance around the recommended content. 

DELI can serve as an example of how businesses in any industry should pivot in today’s consumer-first economy.  It’s no longer enough to aggregate content or build generalized user experiences. Consumers grow more inundated every day by digital content demanding their attention, and will gravitate toward experiences that can reduce the noise by delivering personalized, actionable insights. Instead of building a single digital experience for all of your users, create multiple, interrelated experiences that are each tailored to a unique segment or personality.

This personalization can become a revenue model as well. DELI is committed to staying free for users, but will generate revenue based on hyper-targeted advertisements for companies hoping to reach users within one of its 14 specific personality types. 

DELI is currently piloting its technology for Amsterdam and plans to launch in Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Copenhagen, and Stockholm this year.  

(Originally Published on LinkedIn // May 15, 2015)