How redBus used WhatsApp Business Platform to create a train tracker
This Case Study explores how redRail by redBus used WhatsApp Business Platform to make train tracking accessible; the WhatsApp service saw a 5X increase in 2 months of its inception.
People in India travelling across states have always used different apps to track their train schedules, timing, and accuracy. RedBus curated a train tracker based on WhatsApp Business Platform, offering the consumers the required services on an app they already have.
The case study explains how the brand executed the same:
22 million people travel on Intercity trains on a daily basis. Addressing this market, redBus recently launched a standalone lite app, ‘redRail’, with an aim to enrich the online train reservation experience of millions of travellers across the country.
The redRail app is fast and has been tested to operate smoothly even in low internet bandwidth areas, on phones with low memory configuration and those running older Android versions, for the benefit of users across Bharat or rural India.
The brand further wanted to connect with its consumers through additional services that could be accessed by a universally used app such as WhatsApp.
Post the launch of redRail, a standalone lite app for rail ticketing, redBus announced the launch of a free service on WhatsApp, which provided up-to-the-minute information on the location and arrival of all intercity passenger trains in the country. Travellers could reach +91 9538039911 on WhatsApp and key in their train number to know the exact location, running status and time of arrival of their train before embarking on their journey, or even know the status of a previous day’s train, in addition to knowing the ticket confirmation status by keying in the PNR number.
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A lot of people find it difficult to login to different apps to know details like PNR status, live train tracking etc. WhatsApp is an app that everyone is comfortable using.
By being able to avail of these railway information services directly on WhatsApp, the users are able to have a hassle-free experience. In addition, travellers could also use the feature to track their live location on the go during the course of their journey and share it with their loved ones.
The facility needed no additional installation/memory/application, apart from WhatsApp, further allowing travellers to save their mobile data and battery while trying to know the coordinates of the train.
The brand utilized PR, influencers and owned media (email, push notifications and WhatsApp to the existing base of customers) to give some visibility to this feature.
PNR status usage on WhatsApp is growing at 28% MOM and the LTS status on WhatsApp saw a massive 5X increase in usage in July since its inception in May. The Live Train Tracking feature has a higher usage than the PNR status.
Parikshit Choudhury, Chief Business Officer, redRail by redBus said, “The objective of launching this rail tracking and information service, is to provide a very easy and convenient way for people all across the country, especially in rural areas, to have a real-time information window on trains. WhatsApp is one of the most popular and reliable instant messaging platforms used by millions of people in the country and thus a platform of choice for us to facilitate a seamless discovery experience for our users. We believe this feature will go a long way in alleviating anxieties associated with pre-boarding and while travelling in a train, making a difference to the 22 million people travelling on intercity trains every day and would like to dedicate this to them.”