HK Express – Agile Development for reward-U Customer Loyalty Platform

Case study:
HK Express – Agile Development for reward-U Customer Loyalty Platform

Enhance customer engagement and loyalty with mobile app

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Step 1


reward-U is a lifestyle customer loyalty app solution launched in 2016 as the dedicated loyalty arm of HK Express – Hong Kong’s low-fare airline. It has since expanded to include various lifestyle, dining, travel and many other services in its customer loyalty program offering.

reward-U as a customer engagement app, stands out from the pack with its straightforward earn-and-redeem system, open point-sharing and unconventional transparency in its redemption approach. Though the multi-faceted loyalty program only started in mid-2016, it has grown exponentially with over 1 million members to date.

Step 2

Business Challenge

After customer segmentation and customer analysis, it is found that with majority of their members in the 23 – 35 age group, and a partner library with the hottest brands- a mobile presence was the missing key to propel them forward as the top of mind association in a consumer purchase lifecycle.

Other than considering the needs of its members, partner alliance and integration are also key factors of consideration. Thus, the end goal of the customer engagement mobile app has to result in an ecosystem where multiple functions can be performed by the user, and multi-partner promotions easily accessed on the platform itself.

To facilitate the ever-changing pace of consumer lifestyle patterns and preferences and an ever-growing partner portfolio, a degree of flexibility was also needed for changes to be easily implemented without affecting the whole user experience.

Step 3

The Solution

  • With the complexity of multi-partner integration, the scrum methodology was employed by the customer loyalty app development team so that testing could be done in the early phases, and changes if any, made ahead of implementation. Sequential addition also allowed us to consider the end-user’s experience at each design phase before moving on to the next, allowing for flexibility and saving much time on unnecessary efforts.
  • To enhance member engagement with the app and limit exit-rate, points collection and redemption with external partners need only require one-click access and is processed within the app itself.
  • This seamless earn-and-redeem point system is optimised to be shared with friends and family in a “reward-U crew” which creates a sense of community and belonging- further enhancing the loyalty mindshare. Functions on the app allow easy viewing of crew activity to keep members engaged.
  • Responsive visuals, personalisation, and simplistic templates are amongst the details that complement reward-U’s competitive advantage of process transparency and a straightforward point system in the customer loyalty app.

Step 4

The Results

Within 2 weeks of app launch, the mobile app dominated iOS and Android App Stores in the top 10 download list. More than 30% of reward-U members are now active users of the loyalty mobile app.

  • On-time delivery: Scrum methodology and agile project delivery by the customer loyalty app development team has ensured an impressive launch timeline of within 6 months for the mobile app and 9 months for the website.
  • Multi-level integration: Cross-industry partner integration successfully implemented along with major backend systems such as email databases and more. Members do not need to leave the app to complete redemption transactions or earn points from partners.
  • Project Accuracy with Minimal Last-minute Changes Timely and regular testing minimised last-minute changes and improved communication with client as progress can be effectively seen at each step.
  • Partners Gained As a Result: reward-U loyalty app was able to gain more partners and better customer engagement as a result of the app success and its ease-of-use and implementation.
  • Straightforward, UX-focused design: Fuss-free point calculation, collection, redemption and community sharing has directly and indirectly fortified reward-U’s loyalty app foundation. Visuals and backend systems seamlessly supports a one-stop loyalty product with great enhancement flexibility and potential.