Manchester-based design and software development agency Degree 53 has created a new travel companion mobile app for Sykes Cottages, which runs more than 9,000 holiday homes across the UK and Ireland. 

The Chester-headquartered holiday company, which secured a £54m investment from private equity firm Living Bridge in late 2014, decided to create the app after spotting a gap in its customer journey where there was a lack of interaction after bookings. 

The app offers a personalised post-booking experience by providing users with personalised deals on nearby attractions, receive local recommendations and tips from the property owners and make bookings in nearby pubs and restaurants. 

Users can also manage their bookings, pay outstanding balance and re-book the property for another holiday. 

“We’re very excited about our new holiday app. It enables us to grow our relationship with our customers, offer them useful advice for their breaks, as well as encouraging them to make another booking,” Sykes Cottages chief marketing officer James Shaw said. 

“The team at Degree 53 were very knowledgeable about how this app could help our business and what customers look for in travel products. They’ve helped us create a more personalised approach to our bookings. We were also impressed how valuable the Product Design Sprint workshops and user testing can be at the beginning of creating an app.” 

Andrew Daniels, managing director at Degree 53, added: “I’m very happy with the launch of this app. It has so many options for Sykes Cottages to expand on this offering, adding value to their customers, as well as building a stronger relationship with them.

“Mobile apps can be great for complementing a brand and growing retention. Our team went through a number of ideas and put together the best solution thanks to user testing. I’m very excited to see how this app will be received and where Sykes Cottages will take it.”

The Sykes Cottages travel companion app is available for iOS and Android devices.