Crafting magic moments in tourism
How the Swiss ski resort of LAAX has transformed their guests’ experiences by using data-driven communication and high-end technology.
Weisse Arena Gruppe (WAG) takes its mission to craft unforgettable alpine experiences seriously. To help make this possible, INSIDE LAAX was born — a mobile app that provides visitors to the ski resort of LAAX with live & personalized information, offers them a gamified holiday experience and helps them get to the real fun faster.
In collaboration with inside labs, a company that builds innovative digital engagement platforms and specialises in developing technology to foster meaningful customer relationships, WAG has focused their efforts on eliminating pain points and enhancing guests’ experiences.
This means you can buy a lift ticket, book a parking spot, upgrade to the fast lane and even order your drinks — all from within the mobile app and in a matter of seconds. Even more importantly for some, skiers and snowboarders can track their vertical meters, compete with friends for top spots on the leaderboard and earn badges for their accomplishments.
Since its launch in winter 2016, INSIDE LAAX has been downloaded over 150,000 times. During the 18/19 winter season alone, there were more than 90,000 active app users. Of the 2366 who completed a survey at the end of the season, over 90% stated they would be very likely to recommend the app to others.
The digital transformation of the customer journey has also led to an increase of online ticket revenue from CHF 2.8 million in 15/16, before the app was launched, to over CHF 8 million in the 18/19 winter season. In fact, 50% of comparable lift tickets (available at both the point of sale and on the app) were sold through the INSIDE LAAX app.
Reto Gurtner, CEO & President of WAG, states that:
INSIDE LAAX is the platform allowing us to become truly customer centered. By knowing each individual guest we are able to provide convenience, radical transparency and wow moments.
But what’s the magic behind these numbers?
These results are achieved through data-driven communication with each guest, based on their individual interactions with the app as well as their experiences on and off the mountain, meaning that each person receives personalized, relevant and timely information.
Campaigns are built using marketing automation tools like Braze, in which the flow of communication to app users (which message, to whom, when, how, followed by which additional message, etc.) is built and launched.
No matter what lift ticket price is offered, many visitors will never be tempted to ski on a stormy day.
Each campaign is an opportunity for WAG to test hypotheses and better understand their guests needs and motivations. Experience has shown them, for example, that no matter what lift ticket price is offered, many visitors will never be tempted to ski on a stormy day. Also, by avoiding traditional marketing segmentation using age or gender, they have discovered that the most ambitious and active skiers on the mountain are in fact 55 years and older.
Instead, app users are segmented and targeted using a hybrid approach which means a large number of factors are considered when deciding how to communicate with a customer. Because 35-year old Mirjam’s needs aren’t the same when she’s on ski holidays with her family as when she’s freeriding with friends.
Another significant way WAG and inside labs develop long-lasting customer relationships is through rewards and gamification. By showing appreciation to guests and adding game-like elements such as badges, leaderboards, status and points to enhance their experience, it is ensured that visitors get the utmost out of their visit. What could be better after a hard day of skiing than being able to buy your pizza with the points you earned by placing 1st on the leaderboard?
Initially gamification was thought to attract younger skiers and snowboarders, but it has proven to be a success with app users of all ages. In fact, 67% of active app users this winter were also active on the leaderboards, sharing the details of their ski days with the INSIDE LAAX community.
“We’ve also seen that visitors not only use INSIDE LAAX actively while on the mountain, but also long after they’ve gone home — they look back at their accomplishments and relive their best moments,” shares Kristian Paasila, CEO and co-founder of inside labs.
But enough talk. Let’s check out what this looks like…
So what are these makers of unforgettable experiences up to next? Check out the summer version of INSIDE LAAX to discover how you can go from Tourist to Local Hero this summer.
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