Ryanair has reported an eight percent decline in profit despite making significant investment in its digital strategy over the last six months.
The Irish budget airline, which reported its first profit fall in five years, has been working to boost customer experience by making it easier for them to book tickets online, and introducing a “fare finder” function on the website to enable them to find the lowest fares more easily.
However, it appears to have hit some delays in some digital implementations it was planning.
For example, in its results in February, it had said it was “on track” to roll out mobile boarding passes in April. However, a spokesperson for the company has confirmed that mobile boarding passes are not yet available, and said that they will now be delivered in the summer.
In its full-year results today, the company suggested that they might not appear until even later in the year.
“In the autumn we will launch a business service in conjunction with our frequency build on key business routes, which will include same day flight changes, bigger bag allowances, premium seat allocation, mobile boarding pass and fast-track through security at many Ryanair airports,” Ryanair said.
In addition, after being specific about the deadline for a mobile app to be delivered “by the end of June 2014” in February, Ryanair is now more vague in today’s results, although this does not mean that a delay in this project is imminent.
“We will continue to invest in web and digital improvements over the coming year, as we deliver an industry-leading mobile app, tailored for smartphones and tablets, by mid-summer,” the airline said.
Meanwhile, Ryanair said that more than two million customers have registered with its new My Ryanair registration service, which it launched in December to allow passengers to store their personal and payment details online.
The registration service and the mobile app paves the way for Ryanair to improve its CRM by collecting more data to help it better tailor marketing to customers.
Ryanair began working on its new digital strategy in November 2013, when it upgraded its website to make it easier to use, by reducing the booking process from 17 to just five ‘clicks’. It achieved this by making changes such as removing the ‘recaptcha’ security code from the website for individual bookings.