During this week’s ACI EUROPE Airport Commercial & Retail Conference & Exhibition, Kian Gould, CEO/founder of AOE, will take part in a session entitled “Are you being used? Are airports stores shops? Or just showrooms for brands?” Focusing on the digital perspective, Gould says: “The so-called webrooming effect (researching online and then buying in store) is something we have been observing intensively at those airports where we have rolled out digital e-commerce solutions. Additionally, I plan to speak on the subject of digital brand representation within travel retail, how higher end brands are pulling out of inflight cart shopping and how this trend can only be compensated by digital augmentation. Another subject I will address is the interesting trends we are seeing. For example, which items are becoming the top sellers in digital travel retail commerce. Hint: It’s not the good old duty free goods.”
Recently, AOE started a project together with DFASS/SATS and Singapore Airlines in a new joint venture that, Gould explains, “will redefine the future of airline e-commerce”. The joint venture will offer travellers inflight duty free and duty paid goods and pre-order services with onboard and ground-based deliveries, initially under the existing KrisShop and Scootalogue inflight sales brands but with the aim to expand the scope to other potential interested parties.
The company will also soon be launching at Auckland and Heathrow airports, and it is also in different phases of discussion and rollouts at airports and airlines around the globe.
Looking ahead, Gould says: “In 2018, we are aiming to complete a large portion of our two-year investment programme into our OM3 Suite. We have so far invested close to €10 million into the software and services provided by OM3, and it is by far the most advanced system on the market to date. Our long-term ambition is to be powering a majority of the global digital travel retail business, which we believe will in five years’ time make up 20 to 30% of the global travel retail volume.”