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

October 31, 2017
About the author Christian HolzschuhChristian Holzschuh
Online 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

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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.