Over the past five years, WillowTree and Regal partnered to reimagine the movie-going experience across all channels. Together we helped develop a completely new loyalty program, a streamlined mobile seating and ticket purchasing experience, and an AR experience on iOS and Android that has improved conversion and increased customer loyalty.

With 7,307 screens in 564 theaters, the largest movie theater chain in the U.S wanted to re-envision its digital experience—including its apps for Android, iOS, and tvOS. Regal partnered with WillowTree to bring the magic of the movies to mobile.


increase in monthly YOY loyalty customer spend


increase in active users during AR activation campaigns


increase in mobile ticket purchases

User journey highlights features that delight customers

As a foundational element of our approach to helping Regal, WillowTree drafted a user journey map that outlines the 10 steps in a typical journey through the cinema, along with user sentiment at each step. At each point in the user journey, WillowTree identified an area for improvement, which ultimately led to the incorporation of features such as Incentivized Registration, Targeted Personalization, and Location-Based Notifications.

“WillowTree handled the complexity so we didn’t have to, and created a simple mobile journey for our customers.”

Chris Sylvia | VP of Media, Regal Entertainment Group

“Can’t stop using this app. I like watching my points grow and having control on what I can spend them towards. Fun, fast, and easy to use.”

Evelyn M. | Regal Customer
Utilizing augmented reality

Thoughtful use of augmented reality resulted in a record-setting push notification campaign. WillowTree designed an AR push messaging campaign for the release of Toy Story 4, which drove $500K in sales. Concurrent with this push campaign, the Regal App was featured as ‘App of the Day’ in the App Store, which became the second highest install in day in app history.

Key Takeaways

Gamifying the loyalty experience drives user retention

By adding design touches that incorporated the latest Google and Apple mobile design guidelines, we brought the loyalty process to life and gamified the experience so users can watch their points climb. User retention for the Regal mobile app is higher than industry averages, and loyalty program members are spending more in the app.

Deep client partnerships drive revenue growth and recognition

Iterative collaboration between WillowTree and Regal on product strategy and development enabled a high velocity release schedule that significantly impacted ticket purchases. The Regal app has been featured in the App Store and received recognition in the form of Webby, Communicator, and W3 awards.