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Moodie Davitt Report: AOE CEO Kian Gould named a positive disruptor of the year

December 20, 2017
Author Christian HolzschuhChristian HolzschuhMarketing & Communications

In its last e-Zine in 2017, the Moodie Davitt Report has named AOE CEO Kian Gould as one of its positive disruptors of the year. The honor by one of the most influential online media of the duty free and travel retail industry recognizes digitally focused entrepreneurs “who are helping light the path forward for travel retail.”

AOE sets the stage for the future of travel retail with OM³

According to a short profile in the current issue of the Moodie Davitt e-Zine “None of the industry's positive disruptors have made a bigger impact on the travel retail sector than the founder of German company AOE.”

With its innovative OM³ Suite (Omnichannel Multi-Merchant Marketplace) AOE has fundamentally changed the travel retail industry. This is particularly true for the aviation retail sector. The solution takes the dramatically changed purchasing behavior of passengers into account: “Where impulse purchases amounted to 65 to 70 percent in the past, we are now seeing less than 30 percent in impulse purchasing and around 70 percent in planned purchasing,” Gould says. To meet this challenge, airports must turn into digital marketplaces, Gould continues.

Kian Gould

Kian Gould

Founder and CEO / AOE
Creating a digital marketplace puts airports into the driver’s seat for the first time. It gives them control over the purchasing behavior of their passengers and makes it possible for airports to provide the service and shopping experience that customers have come to expect.

Unobtrusive E-Commerce: The next generation of E-Commerce

In his keynote presentation at the Trinity Forum Conference, held recently in Bangkok, Thailand, Gould gave the audience a high-level overview of the development of E-Commerce – past, present and future.

In the beginning, brands such as the US department store chain Macy’s or Target, one of the biggest American retailers, expanded their brick-and-mortar business to include an additional channel.

In the second generation of E-Commerce, the brands united and created marketplaces to lower the expenses for acquiring retail traffic. 

Currently, AOE is working on the third generation of E-Commerce, something Gould calls “Unobtrusive E-Commerce”. The basic idea behind the concept is that the customer doesn’t even notice that he has just spent money on something (e.g. Uber). Gould gave Fast Track at airports as an example: When a passenger arrives late at the airport, the app on his cell phone asks him if he wants to book Fast Track. A short confirmation completes the process. The passenger doesn’t know whether the service cost 5 Euros or 20.

Please check out the video of Gould’s keynote below for an in-depth look at the topic of digitalization in airport commerce and further information about “Unobtrusive E-Commerce”.

Kian Gould Trinity Forum Keynote: “The Non-Aviation Revenues Disruption”

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.