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.
The fireside chat with Kian Gould and Peter Mohn was published by The Moodie Davitt Report. Watch all five fireside chat videos:
A three-part series of blogs showing how LCCs of any size have a proven, low-cost entry option to seize the digital initiative in driving their ancillary revenue recovery.
After 20-months of Zoom sessions it was amazing to be out in the real world again this month, flying the globe and actually meeting industry colleagues in person! Following the World Aviation Festival (WAF) in London I moved on to Future Travel Experience (FTE) in Las Vegas and it was so encouraging to find that these two major industry events, 8,000 km apart, echoed the industry’s increasing buzz around the digitalization of ancillary revenue. Sadly, I’ve now been brought back to earth by the latest twist in the crisis as Omicron looks to inflict yet another challenging phase. However, after two years of disruption the aviation industry knows it has to adapt to each new challenge and strengthen its ability to respond just as long as governments finally realize that locking down borders is a very short-sighted approach (unless you are an island state) and haven’t stopped any of the previous 4 COVID waves in any meaningful way. If the last two years have taught us anything, it is that airlines, like governments, will need to think a lot more globally than locally.
December’s World Aviation Festival in London was a great opportunity to bring the industry together and, although attendance was inevitably lower than normal, there was a strong conference program that carried a mood of guarded optimism. Best of all, I was delighted to see just how strongly the focus was on real action to drive ancillary revenue and recovery. Much of 2021 has been spent waiting for a recovery to be established and many airlines have understandably been hesitant (or unable) to commit to new investment or major change in their customer operations. The long hoped-for recovery has been impossible to forecast accurately and many airlines opted to simply ‘hunker down’ and wait until a clearer path can be seen through the storm. That strategy carries deep risks. We now face a new phase of crisis as Omicron sadly develops its global presence but the fact is that the world will continue to turn, people will continue to travel, the crisis will eventually recede, and traffic will return. Airlines need to be preparing right now to create the customer experience that the recovery will demand. Yes, the picture of how the 2022 travel market will look in recovery is still blurred right now - but the key point is that we do already know exactly what the returning customer looks like and what they want. We have a clear understanding of the experience they want - and we have the digital tools to deliver that experience.