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

December 20, 2017
About the author Christian HolzschuhChristian Holzschuh
Marketing & 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”


How airlines can regain trust, loyalty and revenue by taking control of the digital customer journey.

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.