Mobile apps can deliver ROI  

Brands need to have a mobile strategy as a matter of urgency if they are not to be left behind by the competition, say senior travel executives

As with its website (pictured), Thomson creates apps that are relevant and offer customers solutions to problems.

TUI Travel group chief information officer Mittu Sridhara told the audience at the Abta Travel Convention today (22 October) “Mobile is moving quickly and if you are not in it you will not learn with your customers or evolve with your customers. There will be no time to play catch up later.”

Sridhara and Monarch Airlines director of customer experience and marketing Tim Williamson explained the principles behind their app builds.

Williamson said that mobile was at the heart of the airline’s customer strategy and that companies should not hold off launching one because of the perceived cost and low ROI.

He said: “If you keep the costs down and keep it simple then you can create a mobile app. The solution does not have to cost the earth.”

He added said that the best way to devise an app was via a cross-departmental  steering group aiming to deliver the “minimum viable product”.

He said once the app was live take customer feedback and stop doing the things that don’t work.

Sridhara said that TUI’s MyThomson app took 14 weeks to build its first iteration and there had now been five releases that had enjoyed a total of 170,000 downloads.

He added that companies had to think of their mobile service as an offering that would make their customers’ lives easier.

His priority list for app build included keeping it simple and relevant and he pointed out that Thomson’s app had weather forecasts,  holiday check lists built in and a holiday countdown that could be shared socially with friends.

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