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Automobile Association UK deepens customer relationships with Windows 8 apps

The Automobile Association UK has created four of its lifestyle guide applications for Windows 8 platforms to reach more consumers and deepen their relationship with the AA.

The AA already has more than 60 apps for Android and Apple devices, but now four of its apps are available on Windows 8. The AA worked with Metia to roll out the four apps, which include the AA Hotel Guide, AA Caravan & Camping Guide, AA Restaurant Guide and AA B&B Guide.

?We have the AA Lifestyle Guide apps running across most other platforms and considered the Windows platform to have the UK traction that we required to proceed,? said Jeff Triner, mobile development manager at The Automobile Association, London.

?We took the opportunity to make the Windows 8 apps more visually lead, using beautiful full-screen imagery to show what the UK has to offer,? he said.

?The primary functions are the same across all platforms, however we have taken the opportunity to add an ?Inspire Me? area to the Win8 apps, geared to promoting key UK regions offering excellent B&Bs, Hotels etc. We also introduced the ability to display search results on a live map, making use of the directions functionality.?

Mobile AA
The AA has had much success with its apps on other platforms. According to Mr. Triner, the apps have had more than 1 million downloads total.

The four lifestyle guide apps provide consumers with thousands of recommended places to eat and stay in Britain. It leverages geo-location to present nearby options.

If consumers do not have access to the Internet, they can also use the offline mode to browse hotels, camp sites, restaurants or B&Bs.

Since Metia designed the four Windows 8 apps from a single design and code base, the AA was able to roll each one out in four weeks.

All of the lifestyle guide apps are now available in Windows Store for free download.

Apps galore
It is interesting that the AA rolls out such a large quantity of apps as opposed to one home app that would house different features.

Especially, within a crowded app store, it is hard to convince consumers to download even one app. Convincing them to download multiple apps can be more difficult.

Yet, the AA decided that each app served an individual purpose, so they did not want to lump them all together in one big app.

?The AA Lifestyle Guides have been very popular for many years in the UK and have always been published as separate guides ? we wanted to retain this feel,? Mr. Triner said.

?We believe it is more impactful to have separate apps in the store, with obvious names and purposeful icons,? he said. ?We felt giving each app its own personality means better in-store searching and a more focused experience.

?We asked ourselves the question ? if we had a combined app what would we call it and where would it sit within the Windows App Store??

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York