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Airport shopping trends - how travel retail can benefit from digitalization - fireside chat (2/5)

October 30, 2017
Author Christian HolzschuhChristian HolzschuhOnline Marketing

How to create customer engagement and how to master digitalization? During their fireside chat, Peter Mohn, owner and CEO of m1ndset, and Kian Gould, founder and CEO of AOE, discuss why many airports and (travel) retailers struggle with digitalization.

Approaches such as click & collect only show products and prices with little benefits to the customers. Digitalization is often seen as a way to drive more traffic to stores. But E-Commerce is a completely different channel with different target groups, fulfillment, etc. Hence, due to non-compelling offers, typical conversion rates are less than one percent of travelers, which leads to an extremely limited ROI.

So, how to create customer engagement? Amazon can be the best teacher for travel retail and the digital airport. People are expecting a seamless, easy-to-use journey that gives them unique advantages.

Online shopping is very much about convenience. Airports and retailers need to create a compelling Omnichannel customer experience with convenient benefits for everyone. Convenience could include pre-completed personal data forms, online shopping and payment, delivery to gate, lounge or home, or offers for re-purchases and related products and connection to airport services such as loyalty programs, fast-track and lounge access.

Kian Gould

Kian Gould

Founder and CEO / AOE
Online Shopping is very much about convenience. To create customer engagement, retailers need to create a compelling omnichannel customer experience that is convenient and really benefits people.

Aviation & Travel

True Innovation Comes Outside The Cabin

One of the biggest emerging trends I have seen in the airline sector over the last couple of years is the concept of passenger self-serve onboard or order to seat. Despite the almost constant discussion at every industry event, the funny thing is, this isn’t really new at all – almost 10 years ago, a former CEO of an onboard retail technology provider proclaimed: “Over time the duty free model will shift to 100% passenger self-service transactions. One of the biggest reasons being the fact that the trolley only comes down the aisle once a journey, for half an hour – in essence the duty free store is only open for half an hour. If I can make transactions myself, through self-service technology, the store is open for the entire flight.” And yet, a decade later, this isn’t even close to the reality on-board most aircraft. During the pandemic, with the need for social distancing, coupled with a desire for innovation, self-service again bubbled to the fore – it gained a new level of relevance. With passengers across all demographics accustomed to ordering everything from groceries to new cars via their phones, digital transactions onboard an aircraft look to be a natural extension of what has become an everyday digital experience. The aviation sector is obsessed (but occasionally intimidated) by digital answers, and there is much that can already be done. Making a digital store available for browsing and even purchasing is achievable, both on IFE and passengers own devices. The process raises a number of operational implications, such as how crew learn of and deliver orders, how payments are handled (particularly if there is no air-to-ground connection) and how this sits alongside the existing cabin service. All of these issues require significant thought and, in some cases investment; and there lies the heart of the problem.