Merseyrail, the regional rail operator on Merseyside, is piloting a new format of its combined ticket office and convenience store, Mtogo, at Liverpool Central Station.
The new Mtogo store was designed and implemented by retail and branding agency M Worldwide.
Merseyrail operates nine Mtogo outlets and said the aim of the pilot was to make Mtogo a better, more enjoyable experience for passengers.
Mtogo is claimed to be a significant component of the end-to-end journey experience for rail users, providing a one-stop-shop for all passenger needs: tickets, information and convenience products. The shops have been successful in bringing about improvements in customer satisfaction for both ticketing and service provision, Merseyrail reports.
Kaj Mook, customer services director at Merseyrail, said: “Mtogo is all about enhancing the customer experience, and Liverpool Central, one of the busiest underground stations in the country outside London, was the perfect place to trial a slightly different formula. M Worldwide’s expertise in understanding customers, as well as the convenience store sector, has proved invaluable to this programme.”
Mtogo stores are always very close to ticket barriers, so the vast majority of customers are people boarding or leaving trains. M Worldwide was tasked with defining the customer journey and developing a retail proposition to encourage impulse buying, drive footfall and increase dwell time.
David Martin, co-managing partner at M Worldwide, said: “Mtogo is different from shops located outside stations. Because stores are an integrated part of the passenger journey, Merseyrail can target customers for specific journeys and be more than simply a convenience store. We have focused on people’s needs while they are travelling: some people simply need a ticket as fast as possible, whereas others arrive early at the station and want to buy something to eat.”
Based on the proposition, ‘Mtogo – Everything for the journey’, M Worldwide said the pilot incorporates the following improvements:
• More emotion into what is normally a functional experience, linking the choice of products and services, as well as messaging, directly to passengers’ needs. For example, providing no-mess food such as wraps, and selling games to amuse children over longer journeys
• Ticket machines are now located inside the shop, making the purchase of simple travel tickets quick and easy. This encourages people to come into the store and means that staff spend less time on low value ticket transactions
• More emphasis on hot food, sandwiches, coffee, and meal combinations, rather than commodity products
• Better signage and graphic design to communicate the offer: colour finishes are more inviting and graphics are clearer and simpler
• Improved merchandising and adjacencies to encourage dwell time, increase consideration, and make products easier to find/pick up
Graphic design elements developed for the pilot are also being implemented at other Mtogo stores and form the basis for all new Mtogo marketing materials.
By the middle of 2013, the overall performance of the enhanced Liverpool Central store will be evaluated to decide whether the pilot will be fully rolled out to other Mtogo stores, said Merseyrail.