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.”
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.
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”.
From major FSCs to small LCCs, digitalization provides the most effective, low-cost path to new levels of operational efficiency and revenue recovery to all airlines. Kian Gould, Chairman of digital revenue innovators Omnevo, explains 5 reasons why. Let’s start on the bottom line: any airline – including everything from flagship FSCs to small regional LCCs – can now cost-effectively digitalize their attack on the recovering market and seize the digital route to recovery. Let me explain why.
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.