Renewed B2C Mobile Experience

HiQ renewed St1’s mobile app, improving mobile refueling and the discovery of nearby stations, along with enhancements to its restaurant services.

St1 is a global energy transition company solving global energy challenges, operating in Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the United Kingdom. After a thorough assessment and previous positive experiences with the company, St1 chose HiQ Oy as its mobile development partner. The renewal of St1's app began in the Swedish market, with plans to extend the improvements to other Nordic countries in the next phase.

"We always assess our work with partners, and HiQ has been our reliable partner in web and app development. So, when the need to build a new mobile app occurred, HiQ was our ultimate choice," says Tania Matvyeyeva, Project Manager at St1 Sweden.

Goal

Until recently, St1 offered various payment solutions, including the St1 Mastercard and private cards for both St1 and Shell. Responding to shifting market preferences, St1 introduced alternative digital solutions for its customers. Simultaneously, St1 aimed to modernize its mobile application, using the latest and most advanced technologies. Through this renewal, the goal was to provide users with an even stronger user experience.

"We wanted to offer our customers something new and unique, even though we were juggling a tight schedule. Launching the new application was crucially timed to coincide with the retirement of our old payment cards. HiQ's skilled team was able to respond splendidly to our needs and navigate the project, where different aspects had to progress simultaneously due to time constraints," describes Matvyeyeva.

In addition to delivering an intuitive and easy user experience, the project emphasized the standardization of the technical foundation. This facilitates easy maintenance of the applications not only for St1 in Sweden but also in Finland and Norway. The visual identity and user experience were harmonized, considering the need for localization. Following the app renewal in Sweden, the changes will be extended to other Nordic countries.

Renewed B2C mobile app
Renewed B2C mobile app

Integrating the mobile application with the content management system creates new capabilities for targeted advertising. Special attention was given to the application's security and adherence to strong data protection practices: only essential information for purchasing the service is requested from the user.

Additionally, one of the goals was to allow customers to control the use of their data. St1 utilizes customer data for targeted advertising and app development only when they grant permission.

Solution

St1 had a clear vision for the new mobile application. Market research and an analysis of the current app's state had been conducted as groundwork. However, as Matvyeyeva points out, turning an idea into reality is a long journey:

“HiQ project team was involved throughout all project phases and successfully reached the challenging timelines and met the ambitious project expectations. It's one thing to have an idea, and another to bring it to life. HiQ's designers were able to gather the diverse thoughts of our Nordic team into an understandable and demonstrable form, from which developers created a functional application. Architects ensured that the app fits into St1's overall architecture. Testers, in turn, did an incredible job ensuring the functionality and security of the application in all situations."

St1's new app was developed using native technologies, whose performance and capabilities are suitable even for demanding needs. The goal was to ensure continuous growth conditions and create a unified and easily manageable code base for all Nordic countries. The application was integrated with St1's content management system to make advertising as flexible as possible.

HiQ project team was involved throughout all project phases and successfully reached the challenging timelines and met the ambitious project expectations.

Project Manager, St1 Sweden

Tania Matvyeyeva

Android and iOS applications are developed natively, using the programming languages provided by Google and Apple: Kotlin and Swift. This choice enables the best possible user experience, which is also high-quality in the long term. In addition, native technologies allow for seamless utilization of the phone's features. For example, location information is used for refueling, and the image library is employed for sharing receipts. In future development, the camera can be utilized to scan a barcode to activate an offer.

One of the application's main features is mobile refueling, and special attention was given to its intuitiveness. Payment options include card or ApplePay—and soon, GooglePay. The visual map service displays all St1 stations and restaurants with their menus. Users can search for a specific dish, and the app will show its nearest availability.

St1 recognized the importance of allowing users to use the app without registration. This way, new users can easily explore the app and create an account when they start refueling. St1 wanted to invest significantly in the app's security and privacy.

"At the moment, all customers see the same offers, but in the future, we will focus on customizing them. Customers can choose in the app settings whether they want to allow the use of their data for targeted advertising or to receive push notifications. Overall, we have carefully considered the mandatory information for creating an account. We need an email, but, for example, we don't need a phone number – just like you don't need to give it to the staff when refueling at a gas station," says Matvyeyeva.

Receipts from purchases and refueling are stored in the app and can be easily downloaded for accounting purposes.

Results

The St1 application for the Swedish market was completed within budget and on schedule, in just six months. Key to the successful collaboration was close interaction, clear role assignment, and trust.

"We value a reliable partner like HiQ, with the competence to make decisions. We listened to the insights of professionals, especially regarding the right technological choices for our needs. Regular communication helped us avoid negative surprises, and the project progressed as planned," evaluates Matvyeyeva.

The application currently has over 70,000 users in Sweden, with the goal of continuous development based on customer understanding. The next functionality to be introduced is the payment for car washes through the application.

Usage-based data is only collected from users who allow it in the app settings. Otherwise, the app is developed using anonymous data. For example, St1 monitors how many customers use the app for refueling.

"We implement new features based on the data collected from the app – striving to understand customer needs proactively. For example, if the food search proves to be popular, we can expand it to include pre-ordering of food," explains Matvyeyeva.

Matvyeyeva considers the project successful and speaks highly of the smooth collaboration with HiQ.

"At no point did HiQ feel like an external team to us. The team was incredible, especially project manager Krista, who was a crucial link in keeping everyone informed about the project's progress and made my job very easy. We had no unnecessary meetings, and our feedback was well-considered at every stage."

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