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How airports & travel retail can enable digital transformation - fireside chat (3/5) with Peter Mohn & Kian Gould

October 31, 2017
Author Christian HolzschuhChristian HolzschuhOnline Marketing

Why are airports and travel retailers so reluctant when it comes to digital transformation? How to increase sales in travel retail? Peter Mohn, owner and CEO of m1ndset, and Kian Gould, founder and CEO of AOE, express chances of digitalization in travel retail, such as multiplication effects, up-selling and cross-selling with high conversion rates.

Airports plan in very long investment cycles and have a multitude of partners. So, how to begin the digital transformation process? Building a digital strategy, creating a unique, compelling experience and integrating many different partners is time-consuming and expensive.

However, airports have one big advantage: They have a guaranteed growth in the next years, which gives them the opportunity to invest into digitalization. Major airports such as Frankfurt, London Heathrow or Changi, but also smaller airports such as Auckland, are thinking and experimenting with digital solutions. Different ways to digitalization can be e.g. in one big 5-year digitalization investment plan, or building digital solutions in small iterations.

Kian Gould

Kian Gould

Founder and CEO / AOE
You can't take something of the shelf and expect it to be amazing. You need to really think about the value proposition and then build a compelling customer experience for your passenger that is somehow unique to your passenger footprint.

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.