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14 August 2019

Follow JRPass' Director through the Innovating for Growth programme: Product Innovation

Each quarter, we pick 18 high-growth businesses to take part in our Innovating for Growth: Scale-ups programme, where businesses receive £10,000 worth of tailored and bespoke business support and advice. Not only do businesses gain three months of guidance, they also receive automatic membership to our Growth Club and their own Relationship Manager.

This quarter, we’re following Haroun, Director of JRPass, a train travel company for those exploring Japan by rail. Haroun will talk us through each session as he progresses through the programme to get the successes and challenges of what it’s like to run a growing businesses. You can see Haroun's last post about customer personalities here.

In this post, Haroun talks us through a one-on-one session he had with an advisor about product innovation and staying on your toes in a competitive field...

After the series of workshops I started on my first one-to-one sessions with individual advisors. This is has been helpful in really digging down into our specific business needs. The session was taken by an advisor from Newable, a government-linked for-profit that specialises in sustainable business advice and professional support.  We discussed the following areas:

  • Payments, which are a very important area for us. We talked about optimising the online payment workflow to enable as easy a consumer experience as possible.
  • The importance of differentiation in order to ensure we stay ahead of the competition. We have to avoid becoming stagnant or comfortable in order to grow and, instead, continue to provide new services and expand our offering.
  • Expansion to new territories e.g outside Europe.

One way of testing workflow changes and new products online is through A/B testing where you offer different versions of your offering to half of your visitors. You can then compare conversion rates and take up. As you can see in the screenshot, we have done this recently in offering mobile wifi devices. We used A/B testing to ensure that there was no adverse affect on the main Japan Rail Pass purchase in the customer payment workflow.

Japan Pass Pocket WiFi, an example of A/B testing


The session finished with the adviser offering to help us approach other organisations, e.g the Department for International Trade, who may be able to help us with our objectives. That would be pretty amazing and a connection I will definitely make the effort to cultivate!

Remember applications for our next round of Innovating for Growth are open now. If you want to follow Haroun and take part in the programme, click here to read more. To read the next installment on Financial Management, click here.