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How can companies benefit from digitalization? How do you create digital business cases that open up new business opportunities for companies? How do you create smart digital customer experiences that provide a value to customers? In his video interview, AOE CEO Kian Gould offers insights into the development of the Omnichannel Commerce solution OM³ and the lessons learned.
Reading time: 4 minutes + 6 minutes video
The fact that Omnichannel Commerce is changing consumer behavior faster than ever is no longer news. Retailers have known this for a long time, and they need to respond to change and find new E-Commerce solutions. Some industries are struggling to transform their business models into digital offerings. For example, many shopping centers are struggling to survive because they compete with E-Commerce players such as Amazon and Alibaba and rarely have digital solutions that add value to their customers.
Unique solutions are also in demand in the aviation industry – approximately 50% of airport revenues are generated through non-aviation sales, especially through duty-free retail. Frankfurt Airport has some 65 million passengers a year – making it Germany’s largest shopping mall of sorts. However, the travel retail industry is experiencing a change from impulse purchases in the duty-free shops at the airport to an increased demand for planned purchases, with travellers researching and shopping online. If passengers cannot find a suitable offer, they switch to other channels such as Amazon, Alibaba and others, which thus become online competitors of the travel retail industry.
To follow this trend, airports and airlines are relying on the Omnichannel trend, which offers their passengers a seamless digital experience and tailor-made, target group-specific offers and thus real added value. London Heathrow, for example, has developed the high-quality Heathrow Boutique, a digital marketplace specializing in luxury goods, which clearly stands out from its competitors thanks to its product portfolio, pricing and customized promotions and reaches shopping baskets of around 400 pounds. Auckland Airport in New Zealand has established the High-Street Shopping business case: Passengers can shop duty-free in Auckland City, the goods are delivered in time to the airport. These are just a few examples of how innovative digital solutions can deliver outstanding results.
But how do you find these digital business models? And how do you develop smart Omnichannel Commerce solutions that offer added value to customers? Kian Gould, CEO and founder of AOE, shares insights and learnings in a Q&A session with Akeneo about the development of the Omnichannel Commerce Solution OM³ Suite, which has received several awards and has already been implemented at several global airports and airlines. Kian answers the following questions:
Do you have questions about digitalization projects or the OM³ Suite? We appreciate your interest and feedback via our contact form.
Frankfurt, July 14th, 2021 - Omnevo, leading provider of revenue-increasing digital platform solutions for airports and airlines and part of the AOE Group, and Fraport AG, owner and operator of Germany's largest airport, announced today that Frankfurt Airport goes live with the latest advanced version of Omnevo's award-winning omnichannel e-commerce solution. Additionally, the two companies announced that they have extended their long-term partnership for another five years to further develop the digitalization of the airport's range of products and services for the almost 70 million passengers (before COVID-19) who travel through Frankfurt Airport each year. With go-live, the existing digital solution platform, which Omnevo’s parent company (AOE) had originally developed for Fraport, was migrated to the latest Omnevo product version. Through its original partnership with AOE Fraport utilized the OM³ digital platform (now known as Omnevo) to become the world’s first omnichannel airport focused entirely on omnichannel both before and, especially, during the pandemic. The newly enhanced Omnevo cloud solution enables the operation of a complete airport marketplace solution for all travel retail sales at a fraction of the costs previously required for such a leading ecosystem, creating new revenue opportunities for crisis-hit airports of any size. Thanks to the highly flexible SaaS solution, Fraport has also effectively future-proofed its digital strategy by integrating directly in the Omnevo product roadmap, enabling it to benefit from Omnevo’s strategy of continuous improvements to the solution.
The past year has been extraordinary in so many ways and, while the tragic impact on lives takes precedence, we’ve also had to deal with the huge changes in our working life too. As the crisis developed early last year, I was busy planning in my new role as CEO of Omnevo - AOE’s new specialist product division - positioned as a digital solution pioneer in the travel industry, launching in early 2021. As the crisis grew, this became the most challenging experience of my career, but I’ve been surprised to find that it’s also become one of the most instructive and rewarding experiences too. Creating and launching any new company is always a huge challenge but we suddenly faced extraordinary new barriers as the way we do business had to be transformed. Much of 2020 was spent planning the new company and today, still operates almost exclusively remotely. Many of us, including some of the founders, worked together for almost a year but have still not actually met in person! Yet we already operate successfully in a global network and are scaling and winning new business. Omnevo is a truly virtual organization; this is how we were born and that is how we thrive. In this short time, we’ve already made our mark on this industry, with a culturally diverse, agile and highly committed team working alongside customers of all sizes around the globe. We’re gaining a lot of attention because we are recognized as game changers - and that innovative spirit is integral to our team spirit. We are committed to being the digital challengers and innovators in the travel and mobility industry – an ethos drives us every day. And it’s working. But what is the glue behind this, what makes us successful? Why is it working and, in these bizarre working conditions, how did we manage to get the team so well and engage with our customers so quickly? I’m obviously proud of what we’ve achieved but I want to share my personal perspective on how we made this happen and hope that it will resonate with others in the industry - and, hopefully, help you with your management challenges too.
COVID-19 has caused a near universal consumer adoption of digital far beyond just search and discovery. Globally, across almost every demographic, international lockdowns have got us accustomed to pre-order, pre-select and home delivery for many of our retail and service transactions. These rapid and continuing shifts in digital behavior inevitably affect the post-crisis traveler journey. As flights slowly resume, airlines, airports and associated service providers will no longer enjoy the luxury of resurrecting 'high touch' retail or food & beverage. Shopping and food & beverage are, of course, two of the most essential experiential elements in any travel journey. As travel restarts, travelers will now expect convenient digital access to these types of products as well as an overriding commitment to hygiene, sustainability and safety. And there is every reason to believe that these expectations will extend across the travel life cycle - from airport, to inflight and post flight. If you were an airline now, given the devastating onslaught of the pandemic on revenues and cash flow, just how and where would you start? Where exactly are the incremental revenue generation opportunities and cost savings to be found? Let's start by understanding the three key challenges: