Train travel has to contend with many prejudices. Travelling by train is slow, uncomfortable and above all expensive. That's not true, as Marius Portmann has already proven countless times with his Facebook page. With friends, he decided in 2020 to turn his "side on Facebook" business into a real company to reach many more people.
SimpleTrain consists of two independent but closely linked products: a website and a platform. On the website you can find inspiration for destinations or information about train travel.
First, let's look at the booking platform.
The booking platform
Until now, potential customers of SimpleTrain could only request a trip via email or Facebook Messenger. Certainly, it was pleasant to request a trip in this way. However, SimpleTrain usually lacked information, which always had to be requested separately. The idea of the platform is to standardise and improve the overview of requests.
The requests are now entered via an interactive form and transmitted to SimpleTrain, so that an offer can be created directly with the given information. The form contains various elements that adapt (show or hide) according to the request.
Some requests on SimpleTrain are very complicated. With an iterative process, we developed the form together to map all possible complexities.
There is also the option to put a free text as a request if the request does not fit into the given grid.
An important element of the SimpleTrain platform is the "chat" function. The conversation between the customer and SimpleTrain is similar to the traditional Messenger. But we have upgraded the chat a little. There are special message formats, which we have optimised to display specific information.
This includes, for example, a request in the style of a ticket:
Or a view with different offers and their options directly to select:
At the very end, you can even pay for your tickets via chat. Payment can be made by credit card, TWINT or e-banking:
In addition to the "special chats" mentioned above, there are a few more versions of special formats such as "notifications", "download tickets", "surveys & feedback" and "travel information".
Of course, it is also possible to write normal texts, for example to clarify more precise details.
The fact that SimpleTrain has become a platform has several advantages for the development of SimpleTrain and its customers. By centralising the data, small "collections" of train journeys can be created, which could play a role in a community aspect at a later date. In addition, the processes on the part of SimpleTrain can be simplified.
The person making the booking notices the advantages of a platform very directly, for example, because all personal data is already entered and the entire process of a booking/inquiry can be called up clearly on one page.
Dreaming of distant destinations and getting the urge to travel. The goals for the website are therefore (sun)clear. The website for SimpleTrain is intended to highlight the advantages of train travel and show what is possible.
The website is divided into three parts: information, inspiration and a blog. With an interactive map one can get information regarding a train journey from different destinations or the blog gives deep insights into the adventures of the SimpleTrain crew.
Our iconic SBB ticket (aka. Stempelkärtli) has even made it onto the SimpleTrain website! It symbolises journeys with a photo of the destination and an approximate price.
Information and inspiration
The guys from SimpleTrain have already actively prepared Europe by train. However, not all countries by far. To get an overview on the website, you can find a big map of Europe on the information page with all countries for which SimpleTrain provides further information.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank SimpleTrain! We really appreciated developing your website for you and wish you the best. We can see that the hard work has paid off!
The website and platform went live in April 2021 and has seen stable traffic ever since.
Go directly to: SimpleTrain website.
Go directly to: SimpleTrain platform.