Xoomworks releases app for high-end French travel company
Depart Demain is an experienced and well-known French travel company in the business of creating bespoke, high-end package deals for customers. Tailor-made holiday packages offered by the company are created by genuine specialists in the travel business and promoted at ultra-negotiated prices. The travel company positions itself as independent, user friendly and with a real passion for travelling.
Expanding its travel facilities with a mobile app
Depart Demain wanted to allow its customers to book holidays normally only available on its website, using mobile devices. The aim was to increase its current revenue, promote additional travel packages and take its product to a new market audience.
With a ‘flash sales’ approach to its pricing model Depart Demain customers can buy luxurious travel packages at much-discounted prices since they are very last minute (hence the name ‘Depart Demain’, ‘Departure Tomorrow’), and available in small quantities.
It was recognised early in the project that the pricing model would impose some unique development challenges, i.e. all requests to book the same trip should be handled concurrently and the number of offers should be decremented in real-time.
The new mobile app would be required to reflect the company ethos by continuing to offer clients exceptional travel deals at low prices through an intuitive but alluring UI and a refreshingly simple workflow.
Moreover, in order to satisfy current market trends and establish excellent coverage, the app was required to be delivered in a format that was native to both Apple and Android operating systems.
Developing the mobile travel app
The solution required the development of both front-end UI and back end API components. Xoomworks Technology opted to deliver the API in-house whilst managing UI development externally, utilising templates and ideas provided by the client. The resulting API aligns with current best practices and with the latest MVC templates. Additionally, it has integrated some well-known services using platforms and technologies appropriate to an e-commerce, travel app, including:
- REST services with JSON/GSON data-interchange are utilised for backend/frontend communication
- User registrations and logins are implemented using an encoding system that avoids showing passwords in clear text, while random passwords are generated using SALT cryptography
- Connection and registration with Facebook and Google+ is established by integrating with provider APIs to obtain a token, which in turn is used to register and connect customers within the app
- Payment processing is carried out using the Paybox API ensuring all transactions take place securely
As part of standard agile practices, Xoomworks Technology created a comprehensive functional test suite that exercised all manner of tests specific to the app at each stage of development. This was used in conjunction with more standard mobile test scenarios, including load testing with JMeter, an application ‘designed to load test functional behaviour and measure performance.
The delivered app is one that as well as displaying a professional-looking UI, functionally fulfils all of the customer requirements in a simple, efficient and secure manner. Last minute travel package deals on offer are displayed and bookings can be made and purchased on the spot without the need for further communication with the travel company. This is still a relatively new concept within the travel industry and allows the company to compete directly with better-known brands, increasing their market share in the mobile app, travel industry.
Our desire was to create a mobile platform that would allow customers to make bookings for their dream holidays directly from their mobile phone, Xoomworks acheived this perfectly.
Chief Technology Officer
Enhanced Brand: Not only does the app help promote the company’s travel products and services but it also helps to enhance the image of the company’s brand by creating a presence in various app stores. From the customer point-of-view this has the impact of promoting a brand that is up-to-date, trendy and one that attempts to provide the very best for its customers.
Gain a larger market share: By choosing to develop an app that is native to iOS and Android, the company is tapping directly into about three-quarters of the market share of the mobile device industry. Developing in code native to each platform passes the benefits of this approach directly to the customer, including faster performance, increased security and full support from the respective app store.
Create a substantial impact: As with many companies that have chosen to add an extra dimension to their business by providing customers with a mobile app, the benefits can be measured almost immediately, and the impact is substantial.
Increase customer engagement: By providing a better level of customer service increasing customer engagement, the company recognises that customers who choose to download the app show a willingness to engage B2C. Since the app has a social network friendly registration process and a workflow that is extremely easy to navigate, engaged customers soon become paying customers.
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