Marshall Arts, one of the leading companies producing authoritative video profiles of the different sectors within the airport business, presents its new video series, ‘Airport Commercial Excellence’.
The video series features airports which have created a retail environment that enhances the overall customer experience. Peter Marshall, owner and Managing Director, Marshall Arts International, says: “Every airport has its own DNA and this comes out strongly in the first four airports to be showcased.” The airports featured in the series, include Vancouver, Gatwick, Belo Horizonte and Riga. “Whether retail or food & beverage, each airport has its own unique story, which can provide important learnings for the wider industry.”
Each of the airports featured has previously faced some key strategic commercial issues that have been addressed. The videos, therefore, aim to provide examples of retail evolution and innovation that have combined to provide a better consumer offering and improved commercial yield.
Marshall shares that “the industry is still considerably complacent and is a step behind where it needs to be, particularly in respect to adopting an omni-channel approach to passengers”. Therefore, the purpose of the videos is to highlight the airports which understand what it takes to meet the needs of today’s discerning passengers. This encompasses a broad retail offer, delivery of a genuine sense of place and adoption of a robust multi-media approach.
“The main objective today is to provide passengers with a seamless experience. That starts with check-in, then security, then retail. The first two experiences sometimes help, but more often hinder the commercial experience.”
He continues: “Staying with retail, in today’s world it is all about providing theatre and real points of differentiation to the domestic market. There is a real need to change the look of duty free and travel retail and its perception by passengers. We all know there is too much sameness in the industry and that the polarisation of the business may not be in the best interests of the travelling passenger.” Thus, Marshall recognises the fundamental need for airports to take responsibility to drive and co-create with their retail partners new types of retail that reflect the modern forward-thinking customer.
“Airport management has to be more proactive. New technology needs to be harnessed and software programmes introduced that provide a better overall understanding of the customer base. But getting bogged down in data is not the answer, although there does need to be greater transparency and sharing of information. What is critically needed is an enhanced omni-channel approach, where airport and retailers can better personalise their offer and meet the challenges presented by the online giants. There is a real degree of urgency about this now, but it is doable if there is a change of mindset,” Marshall concludes.
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