Pricenow launches new, comprehensive webshop solution for mountain railways
Together with Niesenbahn AG, Pricenow AG has significantly expanded its existing webshop solution for mountain railways. The aim is to make all services such as train rides, restaurant and accommodation offers or special culinary occasions and events easily bookable online for guests.
The Niesen is an unique excursion mountain in the Bernese Oberland. The world’s longest funicular railway runs in two sections from Mülenen, 693m to 2’336m above sea level. In addition to the historic railway, the Niesen Kulm mountain inn is the top attraction. The event and seminar services are also important business areas: Besides sports and cultural activities, the Niesen is a mountain for celebrations and special occasions.
The Pricenow-Webshop covers the entire value chain of the Niesenbahn: Guests of the Niesenbahn can book their train ticket as well as mountain experiences, accommodation or restaurant reservations online. This means that the comprehensive and varied range of the Niesen Railway’s products and services for guests is completely united in one booking platform – an absolute added value for guests and company. A modern design and a high level of user-friendliness significantly improve the online booking experience for guests. Thanks to the webshop’s responsive design, booking for the mountain experience is possible at any time – whether on a computer, smartphone or tablet.
Jonas Meuli, CO-Founder Pricenow, explains: «During the development of the webshop, the focus was always on user-friendliness for the customers: With the help of a clever shopping cart function, the guest can always edit his selected products. The most important interfaces, such as the SwissPass, are also integrated into the webshop – this means that guests can load their ticket with a discount directly onto the SwissPass.»
The Pricenow webshop also validates the SwissPass so that guests of the Niesenbahn can buy reduced-price tickets with their GA or Half-Fare travelcard directly online. Other relevant systems are also directly connected: With E-GUMA, an important voucher system of the tourism industry is integrated and guests can easily redeem their vouchers in the webshop. The valuable customer data generated in the web shop is directly and fully automatically imported into the CRM system “Wilken”. The recorded data offers the Niesenbahn a considerable benefit: Based on the guest behaviour, the Wilken system individualises the content to be communicated for each recipient. This means that the guest only receives relevant information and feels directly addressed.
Already in April 2020, the web shop was ready for the launch for the summer season; however, due to the COVID19 pandemic, it was further developed at short notice.
Urs Wohler, CEO of Niesenbahn AG, is confident: «We are thrilled to welcome the guests again! Thankfully, with Pricenow’s innovative capacity management system, this is well possible in spite of restrictions.»
In the future, the web shop will allow guests to reserve their trip with specific times. The aim is to ensure that as few guests as possible arrive without a reservation and have to leave disappointed because there is no available space. This will also help to avoid crowds at the valley station. Capacities can be flexibly adjusted at any time by the management of the Niesenbahn and are automatically adjusted in the webshop. This means that simple and flexible revision is always guaranteed in the current dynamic environment. However, it is not only the train journeys that can be offered with limited seats: Events, deals and table reservations can be limited with capacities in the webshop. Up-to-date reports provide an overview of the current occupancy rates as well as reservations for the management or the mountain restaurant team of the Niesenbahn.
Different price strategies are implemented in the web shop for the various products of the Niesenbahn. While fixed prices are offered for Niesenbahn train journeys, overnight stays in the mountain lodge are based on a rule-based and therefore more dynamic pricing strategy. The Pricenow web shop is specially designed to optimally implement different pricing strategies. Through the connection to the Pricenow Pricing-Engine, a wide range of pricing forms can be implemented, from fixed prices to simple pricing rules (rule-based pricing) to fully automated and daily adjusted prices (dynamic pricing). This allows the Niesenbahn maximum flexibility to optimally price its products and offers
The modern web shop for the Niesenbahn with a complete coverage of the entire value chain as well as the innovative capacity management system is a novelty in the mountain railway and tourism industry. Not only the current situation and limitations caused by COVID-19 can be handled by it, but also the need for digital customer solutions for the successful distribution of tourism services.