Mobile v desktop: You must have consistent pricing

Essential Retail’s Caroline Baldwin highlights how companies need to make sure their prices are the same on both mCommerce and eCommerce.

Booking travel arrangements has never been the most thrilling job on my to-do list, and even when it’s a holiday it used to be such a laborious process that would fill me with dread. But in recent years so many travel companies have upped their game, BA’s beautiful app with mobile check-in functionality, Trainline’s easy-peasy user interface (UI) or Expedia’s super-fast booking process. Heck, even Citymapper has completely revolutionised the way I get from A to B in my own city.

The Eurostar app is another one – slick and simple UI, with mobile ticket functionality (for someone who is an Apple Wallet convert, I now detest having to print out tickets – I’m looking at you Monarch!). But the other night when my girlfriends and I were about to buy tickets in the Eurostar sale for a Parisian weekend in August, mobile let me down big time.
Being the ‘millennials’ that we are, the four of us were talking in our ‘France – cheese & wine’ Whatsapp group about which tickets we should buy, screenshotting our mobile apps to make sure we all had the correct dates and times. But one girl in the group was buying on her laptop, as opposed to the mobile app, and she suddenly exclaimed at how her outbound ticket was £30 cheaper than the one I had just suggested we buy.

Confused, we double-checked. Nope, it was the same time, station and date. How could this be? With one girl booking from a pub in Swansea with limited connected and a smartphone battery hovering at 5%, I jumped onto my trusty laptop to find that indeed the desktop site was offering the exact same fare for £30 less. And to us thrifty millennials, £30 each is a fair bit of French plonk and insanely-smelly cheese we want to consume.
We all then bought our tickets in a dramatic rush as there were only five seats left at that price, and to be fair to Eurostar, I was still able to log in on the mobile app afterwards and download the tickets to Apple Wallet. But had it not been for one slightly less technology-minded friend, we could have been down £120 as a group.

I got in touch with Eurostar’s press office to find out what happened. Firstly they told me that my friend must have been looking at the last ticket available at the cheaper price, but this can’t have been the case because we managed to book four tickets. Since then, we have yet to hear anymore from Eurostar about what may have gone technically wrong.

Eurostar’s new app.


Leave a Reply