ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Industry Dive acquired Mobile Commerce Daily in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out our topic page for the latest mobile commerce news.

Greyhound entices consumers with mobile booking via new app

Greyhound, a national provider of intercity bus transportation, is enticing consumers to buy more bus tickets via its new mobile application, which features mobile booking and a rewards program.

The new app for iOS and Android consumers will allow guests to easily manage their Greyhound trips by searching for schedules, using discounts, booking trips and finding terminal locations all from the convenience of their mobile device. Greyhound claims that the app offers a more user-friendly design than its predecessor to further convenience consumers by providing them the opportunity to book travel in a quicker, more efficient manner.

“I think all transportation companies in this day and age should have an app that makes it easier for smartphone users to manage their travel,” said Djamel Agaoua, CEO of MobPartner, San Francisco, CA.

“However, in order to generate significant ongoing usage of these mobile apps, there needs to be a real-time bus tracking component, a system that allows users of computers and mobile devices to view a list of impending arrivals that lets riders know to the minute when a bus will reach a certain stop.”

Hassle-free traveling
Greyhound recognizes that many consumers prefer to search for news and information via mobile, and wanted those services to be available within its app. Guests can book tickets through the app, after which they will receive a confirmation number via text or email from which the physical ticket can be printed.

Confirmation numbers can also be used to add trips booked through third-party channels and to keep track of planned trips in the future in the “My Trips” app screen.

Greyhound is unveiling the new app before the holiday rush starts, so that consumers can effortlessly book travel to see loved ones and family and feel secure in the booking process.

The bus brand has had forward-thinking mobile strategy for its other apps as well. Its BoltBus service allows customers to purchase tickets through an Android app, and does not require users to print out tickets before boarding a bus.

Cross-promoting on social
Greyhound is promoting the app via it social media channels, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. The brand’s blog, The Hound, also features a front-page advertisement for the application.

The primary source of promotion is a two-minute YouTube video that details the benefits of using the app and signing up to become a Road Rewards member. Users’ rewards automatically accumulate in the app and apply themselves once a trip is selected.

Rewards can be received simply by logging in and using the app. Other discounts, such as senior and military discounts, will also be available to be accessed.

Once information is inputted, it will be saved in the app to offer more convenient usage in the future. Greyhound believes that consumers will appreciate the efficiency and timeliness of the app, especially during the busy holiday season.

“Mobile ticketing should be offered as an option for riders to pay their fare,” Mr. Agaoua said. “There’s a demand for this offering today – not just in the future.

“However, it can’t be the only option bus transportation companies offer. There will always be complimentary ways for riders to pay for fares i.e., via the web, phone, etc.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York