Project Description

Big Bus Tours App with real-time tracking

Doubling app downloads and mobile channel revenue over 2 consecutive years

  • Between 2018 and 2019 there has been a 50% increase in app downloads
  • App downloads for 2019 are predicted to be over 2 million across Android and iOS platforms
  • Revenue from in-app ticket purchases has increased by over 100% for two consecutive years
  • Award winning: UK App Awards – Best Travel App 2018
  • 1.2m+ downloads per year
  • 4.7 star app rating
  • 99.98% app stability

How do you build the world’s favourite city sightseeing app?

In a competitive market, BBT briefed us to create a new channel to communicate with customers.

The mobile channel must engage customers early and upsell attractions as well as improving the Net Promoter Score through delivering improved customer service.

Our brief included developing and curating customer personas to build a 360-degrees evolutionary picture of customer behaviours/needs across their journey with Big Bus Tours.

Big Bus Tours new offer had to remedy two key customer struggles: frustrations around delays, and awareness of diversions or closures on routes.

They faced the additional challenge that most sales interactions were by street vendors, meaning customer details were not captured which limited further communication with customers other than on the bus, on the day.

We needed to evolve the relationship that customers had with BBT. To respond to the age of TripAdvisor-type channels where customers’ opportunity to generate a negative review led to a detrimental impact on the brand and sales opportunities. To leverage opportunities to meet customers’ broader ranging requirements, for example, attraction tickets.

Our Approach

Working closely with the Big Bus Tours Customer Experience team, we began the project with a comprehensive Discovery Phase.

This involved research and a series of workshops to identify customer and business needs, the output of which was a prioritised road map of requirements.

The initial focus was on delivering a Minimum Viable Product; the core features essential for the app to bring value to the customer. Today, customer feedback forms an important part of the continued development of the app.

Conjure provided a dedicated product team, combined with specialist resource to develop the mobile application.

The project itself required a significant number of third party integrations, for example for bus tracking and ticket purchasing. These systems did not all have external Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and therefore we needed to work in a flexible and supportive way with the providers.

Our sprint-based approach with bi-weekly client checkpoints provided Big Bus Tours with high visibility of project progress, as well as the necessary flexibility.

Our strategy for the application focused on the three key moments in a customer’s journey:

  • Pre-trip – First use questions help us profile the customer (type of traveller and interests). The focus is on selling a ticket and gentle notifications with offers to help drive conversion.
  • On-trip – Using device GPS to predict when a customer is in a Big Bus city and likely to be taking a tour. In this case prominence is given to their closest bus stop and nearby attractions relevant to their interests. Live bus times and notifications about service disruption help alleviate the most common customer complaints around delays.
  • Post-trip – Following a tour feedback is captured via a survey. This gives customers an opportunity to speak directly to Big Bus without venting any frustrations through app stores / TripAdvisor.

The services we have built also form a valuable tool for the Big Bus Tours operations team. A web portal allows them to manage buses at a global level taking them in and out of service, switching them between routes as well as regulating their frequency and managing diversions.

From the outset we were impressed with Conjure’s attention to detail and their assessment of our tender request. We have been thoroughly impressed with both Conjure’s approach to the project and the apps they’ve created for us.

Andy McIntyre, Ecommerce Manager, Big Bus Tours