LATAM Streamlines Flight Booking, Increases Ancillary Revenue With New App 

LATAM’s new app, launched in May, has resulted in a 121% jump in ancillary sales per passenger and a 1,000% ROI in digital marketing.

LATAM outlined its latest digital ambitions at this week’s summit on the new reality of flight shopping, hosted by ATPCO, and presented results from the first stage of the rollout of its new booking app. Three months after the app launched in May, LATAM found that it had delivered a 3.11% increase in conversion rate; 60% faster time to purchase; 50% reduction in the average number of clicks required to purchase; 121% jump in ancillary sales per passenger; and 1,000% ROI in digital marketing.

“Two months before the crisis began we had planned to become a completely digital airline,” said Jorge Sierra, digital transformation manager at LATAM. “We wanted to provide a personalized and engaging ‘Amazon-like’ offer with seamless navigation that would enhance the client experience without the passenger having to interact with a human. We recently launched the app in Chile, and we’ll be launching in Columbia and Brazil soon. With that we will have 97% coverage of our market.”

LATAM has designed the app to enable 100% of booking changes, cancellations and refunds, and facilitate automated check-ins. The objective is also to increase ancillary sales through the channel by a factor of five.

“We wanted to provide a personalized and engaging ‘Amazon-like’ offer with seamless navigation.” – Jorge Sierra, LATAM

The airline has structured the app’s user experience into two core journeys. Order-to-cash is the process that the customer carries out from the moment they engage with the web application, until they complete a purchase. The second journey, door-to-door, takes the client from their home or wherever they start their journey, to their destination, by providing flight information, pre-flight information and incident management.

LATAM built and implemented the app using flexible, sustainable and simple IT technology, unencumbered by legacy IT architecture. “We used an MVP (minimum viable product) approach where we built a really small product and then let it grow,” Sierra explained. “We also colocated teams in a different environment separated from the main LATAM organization so that the team could work independently and think like a startup.”

The MVP launched in May 2020 and is tailored to offering domestic flights with automated check-in and features a new booking flow and digital handling of changes and refunds. The airline is currently in the next phase of rollout, the product increment phase, where LATAM will reach a coverage of 100% of use cases and will improve functionalities such as improving merchandising capabilities and testing what Sierra calls “high-potential products.” This will be followed by a continuous improvement phase, intended to deepen platform monetization, implement new products, and focus on adjacent business digitization.