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5 ways to improve your airline smartwatch app experience

30/3/2016, Fabio V., DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Think about the experience of your last plane trip: from booking, to check-in and take off, it’s a continuous filling in of forms, searching for information, standing in line and showing papers. Airlines know that improving the entire travel experience is the key to getting ahead of their rivals, attracting customers and displaying their overall brand value.

Smartphones have helped to drastically improve the travel experience, and are now widely used for everything from booking to check-in and lots more. Smartwatches promise to make it even better – because they’re right on our wrist, they’re much more accessible and easy to use for travel, and so they have tremendous potential to make flying fun and easy.

Airlines know this, which is why many now have their own smartwatch app. But have they taken off? Have travelers flocked to them, and have the airlines reaped the business rewards they were expecting?

Not really. That’s because up to now, smartwatch apps have largely been developed through the lens of traditional mobile devices like smartphone or tablet computer. Wearables are a whole new ball game.

Five steps to improve your smartwatch app

Instead of empowering a service by leveraging its smartwatch-specific business potential, often smartwatch apps are created as a scaled-down version of a smartphone app and therefore become limited and trapped.

At the heart of the smartwatch is the human connection between services and users, and that changes everything. It’s a totally new perspective that needs to be understood. Context is the new design framework, smart features anticipate customer needs and interaction moves from easy to instinctive.

So, what can you do to bring your smartwatch app the to next level? Here are the essential five steps that make it happen:

  1. SET CLEAR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES: Like everything in the corporate world, it needs a solid business case supporting your overall strategy and that satisfies your customers’ new needs. Look at the entire user journey and cross-reference with other touch points and contexts: how value can be created and captured for each of those new mobile needs?
  2. STAY FOCUSED: Keep it super SUPER focused on the one thing that the consumer needs at that time and context. Does it feel better on a smartwatch than on a smartphone? Can it be delivered it in seconds?
  3. IMAGINE NEW INTERACTIONS: Don’t look at apps in a traditional sense. Interactions with smartwatch apps happen mostly through smart notifications or watch specific functions like complications or glances. When designing each of those interactions, don’t just limit yourself to the display of the watch. Reimagine it. Engage a multi-sensory communication that feels good by simply using it and conveys a uniquely distinctive style.
  4. MAKE IT EMOTIONAL: Don’t limit it to just content and reminders (time of departure or gate etc) but include context and state of mind. Does a consumer feel the same or have the same priority if the plane is about to board or if there’s still plenty of time? No, it’s different – and your communications should be too.
  5. CREATE RELATIONSHIPS: Don’t only focus on the in-terminal scenario or frequent flyer programs. Instead outline new business opportunities before and after the flight to leverage this new intimacy with the user. There are consumer needs you can now satisfy with a smartwatch app that you won’t want to miss.

At Emozionella we have much more in mind to boost your airline’s business in a whole new way.

We’d love to tell you all about it, so contact us now and find out how you can fly even higher!

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Author

Fabio Valeri

DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
fabio.valeri@emozionella.com
Become a digital disruptor.
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