Monday 12 June 2023

PSG innovation workshop on “Applying Digital Retailing Best Practices in Passenger Rail” held on 31 May

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On 31 May 2023, the first Passenger Services Group Innovation Workshop of the year took place, entitled “Applying Digital Retailing Best Practices in Passenger Rail”.

Vittorio Carta, Chairman of the UIC Passenger Services Group, opened the Innovation Workshop and welcomed more than 30 participants, who attended either in-person or online, and represented several of the rail sector’s stakeholders. These include SBB (Switzerland), Trenitalia and FS (Italy), DB (Germany), JRE (Japan), PKP (Poland), MAV (Hungary), CFL (Luxemburg), SilverRail (UK), NS (the Netherlands), Renfe (Spain), SZ (Slovenia), CP (Portugal), LTG Link (Lithuania), and the International Union of Railways (UIC).

Following a short round of introductions, Stefano Scarci (EY) took the floor and provided an overview of selected outcomes from the EY 2023 Future Travel Behaviours Observatory, providing insights on travellers’ intentions and attitudes, followed by a review of best practices from leading digital retailers that could inspire improvement in the digital experience rail customers have. Finally, he described potential opportunities for the passenger rail sector coming from recent advances in Artificial Intelligence and Large Language Models.

Afterwards, Marco Storti (EY) delivered a presentation on the upcoming phasing out of 3rd-party cookies, emphasising the necessity for rail companies to adapt and develop cookieless customer targeting capabilities. He also gave an overview of how a digital platform allows insights to be collected from users, to better investigate their habits, experiences, and preferences, for service and product design, communications and customer relationships.

Participants were split into three groups for the breakout sessions, during which they were asked to brainstorm ideas on three topics:

  • The application of best practices from digital retailers in passenger rail
  • Leveraging data and AI to improve customer engagement
  • Possible initiatives for UIC that could help member rail companies generate value from the application of digital retailing best practices

During the final plenary session, the outcomes of the breakout sessions were presented.

For further information, please contact Fabrice Setta at

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