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ANWB and IG&H partner to design, build and grow a unique travel value proposition: Reisopmaat
ANWB Reizen's consumers wanted more control, flexibility and certainty
IG&H conducted customer research to create a new business model and value proposition
Low-code and data capabilities were used to develop an app: Reisopmaat
The travel agency's new e-commerce platform is accessible to everyone, including more than 4 million ANWB members
At a glance:
ANWB Reizen, a leading European travel agency had been focused on packaged travel. Over the last few years, they observed a shift in consumer behavior toward the need for more control, flexibility and certainty. In response, they enlisted IG&H’s help to create a new business model and value proposition to meet these needs while also helping them appeal to a younger demographic. This resulted in Reisopmaat (English custom travel). For IG&H, the first challenge was to prove the technical feasibility of such an innovative and disruptive solution.
Systematically addressing the unknown
IG&H’s Digital Experience team applied disciplined, yet highly iterative and explorative, development cycles to address the inherent “unknowns” in proving the technical and commercial viability of the concept. Together with ANWB, IG&H formed a small, multidisciplinary self-steering team with short decision lines and substantial autonomy.
The team used continuous customer research to validate and sharpen the uniqueness and desirability of the proposition. The Scrum methodology was applied to build and showcase results in bi-weekly demos and continuously release improvements to the live production environment.
To make the user experience as pleasant as possible, three types of research were conducted:
Proposition research included focus groups and in-depth interviews with people from different target groups. This highlighted that the main target audience wanted more flexibility than traditionally offered by pre-planned package trips, yet these users did not want to have to do everything themselves either
UX research as input for critical design decisions, for example about how travel inspiration is conveyed, e.g. with a sample trip, options to use filters, selecting the dates first, understanding the app’s general flow, etc.
Usability research to optimize what has been built. For example, whether a button stands out enough, or whether people can navigate through the app well.
During the customer research, travelers were divided into different groups. On one side of the spectrum, we identified the puzzlers, people who enjoy planning everything themselves. On the other side were the package people who value security and prefer having the trip organized for them.
In the middle, we found people who appreciate building blocks, such as the flight and hotel being booked while still having the option to make other additions or adjustments along the way. This group wants a degree of flexibility and likes to have more options to choose from. This building block segment turned out to be the group that would feel most inspired and empowered by Reisopmaat.
Low-code for a high-quality user experience
To accelerate the innovation, IG&H used the OutSystems low-code development platform. The team relied heavily on the platform’s ability to easily integrate with 3rd parties and existing back-end systems, and enable rapid feature development. Data science was applied in the form of a self-learning algorithm that analyzed hundreds of thousands of data points to make relevant recommendations to customers and continuously improve the application on the fly based on customer behavior.
Data & analytics was applied by gaining relevant insights all over the application to steer important decisions. This ranged from data-heavy analyses assessing the supplier’s quality to gaining a deep understanding of pain points along the entire customer journey. This resulted in a sound business strategy driven from an IT and operations standpoint where the customer’s point of view became central in the app.
Leveraging these key capabilities, IG&H was able to deliver an innovative travel e-commerce platform that provided a seamless customer experience and was truly unique and differentiating in the market.
“We developed ANWB Reisopmaat with a technology-driven approach, treating it as a start-up within our organization. That required a different approach than we were used to. As a partner, IG&H helped us with this approach, from strategy through digital transformation to realization. They guided us through an innovative way of working in which new business models, technology as an accelerator and data science 'to get it right’ were central.”
Gert-Jan Bressers | Director of round trips ANWB Reizen
Start-up business model for future-proof end results
The travel agency’s new e-commerce platform is accessible to everyone, including more than 4 million ANWB members. At launch, it was integrated with over 500,000 accommodations and over 90% of all commercial flights and car-rental options worldwide. The agency also has a new customer-driven and highly automated business model with more efficient processes that have increased profitability by at least a factor of three. Together, we evolved the business model and built an experience where everything is available in real-time, allowing the customer to easily build their own trip.
With more options and the convenience of packaged travel combined with a user-friendly experience, ANWB will become more appealing to a younger demographic. Routes, flights, accommodation and rental cars, are all chosen by the user or tweaked from existing templates. Culture, nature or adventure – everything is possible, topped off with the trusted reliability of ANWB.
Bressers explains, “We have the digital tool integrated with our back office and with third-party systems, such as accommodation via WebBeds. With this, we have already unlocked hundreds of thousands of accommodations. Thanks to the low-code platform technology from OutSystems we were able to work in short iterations of two weeks, accelerating the pace to set up a working proposition. This allowed us to pay attention to the development of distinctive functionality and customer experience. Finally, we were able to put ANWB Reisopmaat on the map in a little over a year. Thanks to IG&H and OutSystems we could make this journey.”
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