How to get mobile first off the ground

Learn from these two brilliant examples of businesses becoming ‘mobile first’

RYANAIR

ryanair-mobile-bookingRyanair hasn’t always been an airline synonymous with digital prowess or indeed great customer care. But over the past two-and-a-half years, the company has invested heavily in becoming a mobile-first business. “Our mobile app has now had 13 million downloads and 15,000 customers use our mobile booking passes each day,” says Ryanair’s head of communications Robin Kiely. 

The My Ryanair customer registration service means the company is able to build up a profile of their frequent flyers and can use this to make tailored offers. “If someone regularly flies to, say, Barcelona, we can make discounted offers, such as have 20 per cent off next time and bring the kids,” says Mr Kiely. “We can also use booking information to make timely offers like, for example, if we know there are large queues at a particular airport, we can send a passenger a message to see if they want to buy a fast track ticket to bypass the queues.” 

Ryanair utilises social media as a point of contact for flyers. The @Ryanair handle deals with customer queries and now travellers can get real-time updates on the @RyanairFlights handle or get flight information texted to their phones. Rounding off the customer journey is the Rate My Flight service, which uses the app to send a notification once someone lands, asking them for feedback. 

TREATWELL

Smartphone showing Treatwell mobile appSixty per cent of beauty marketplace Treatwell’s business happens on mobile and chief executive Lopo Champalimaud expects this to rise to 90 per cent over the next few years. “We realised a while ago that we needed to become a mobile-first business and we’ve seen a huge transformation since then,” says Mr Champalimaud. 

Indeed, the company has found that customers who use their mobile are likely to spend more frequently than those who visit on desktop. “We use things like competitions to encourage our desktop users to download the app and start using mobile,” he says. 

Mobile is Treatwell’s biggest channel for acquisition, particularly Facebook, where they buy mobile-targeted ads. “We have also seen that Google has started to index our app in search results, which is driving more people on to the app,” says Mr Champalimaud. Once a customer has booked a treatment with the company, the booking is added to the user’s calendar and they receive text messages to remind them. 

Having customers search for a service via their mobile also means they get a more accurate result, getting salons located closest to them. “It allows us to make better recommendations,” he says. Once customers have been to their appointments, Treatwell can prompt them to leave reviews, which it describes are an important part of the ecosystem. 

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Also found in Technology Business Mobile