Transport Airlines

What Airports and Airlines Must Learn From the Retail Industry


Jul 01, 2014 12:00 pm

Skift Take

By following retail trends and empowering flyers to make purchases via mobile devices and self-service kiosks, airports will increase sales and boost customer satisfaction — a win-win for all.

— Samantha Shankman

The Latest Intelligence on the Travel Industry

Free Report: India Tourism Insights Report

Getty Images

A sign in English and Arab at Dubai Airport indicates the way to the duty free shops and all the gates. Getty Images

Airlines and airports are missing an opportunity to increase sales and boost revenues by failing to adopt to customers’ shopping expectations.

Travelers today are ordering everything from food to furniture on a smartphone and having it effortlessly delivered to their door. The convenience and personalization of that experience is becoming standard for shoppers who increasingly expect that level of service across all industries.

By adjusting airport and in-flight shopping opportunities to mobile and self-service platforms, industry players can boost sales and increase customer satisfaction.

A NCR survey of 6,000 travelers across six countries found that between 60 and 80 percent of respondents reported that they’d like to buy airport items from parking to reading materials on a mobile device.

This is markedly different from the third of travelers that reported actually purchasing airline-related travel amenities including meals, entertainment and baggage fees via mobile or a self-service kiosks. Those that had not said the option either wasn’t available to them or they didn’t know if it was accessible.

There is obviously room for improvement and there are numerous benefits for airports and airlines outside of increased revenues.

The majority of respondents indicated that they would be willing to provide personal data in return for targeted offers. And 60 to 100 percent of travelers said they prefer an airline that gives them the ability to purchase amenities via self-service platforms at any point throughout the trip.

Retail expectations and habits will change based on destination and demographic.

For example, a quarter of US and UK travelers indicated that they’d like to buy duty-free items, destination activities, upgrades from their mobile device or a kiosk. The proportion jumped to half for respondents from China and UAE.

The report sums up the similarities as, “Just as shoppers don’t make all of their purchases in the store, travelers want the ability to buy travel-related goods and services at points beyond the check-in lobby.”

Find the full report below:

Download (PDF, 1.79MB)

Tags: , ,

Follow @SamShankman

Next Up

More on Skift

Survey: Passengers Want Simpler Tech Solutions From Airports and Airlines
Where to Find the Best Hotel Wi-Fi at Chains Around the World
TripAdvisor Launches New Brand for China Inside and Outside the Firewall
Free Webinar: Strategies to Build Better Guest Relationships