Stephan Uhrenbacher, CEO and founder, FLIO, speaks to Marta Dimitrova ahead of his participation in this year’s ACI EUROPE Airport Commercial & Retail Conference.
Launched just three years ago, global airport app FLIO now has half a million customers who have installed the app on their phones, and its monthly users are now approaching 100,000 people who use the app about 300,000 times per month. “We believe we are the most used digital product at airports right now and are growing at super-fast pace,” enthuses Stephan Uhrenbacher, CEO and founder, FLIO.
Indeed, it is claimed that the FLIO user increases average transaction values by up to 40%. During this year’s ACI EUROPE Airport Commercial & Retail Conference, Uhrenbacher will take part in the ‘Innovation Masterclass’, where he will discuss the measurable results of campaigns with major brands including Estée Lauder, Mondelez, Pernod Ricard, Rituals, Hugo Boss and L’Oréal. “In food & beverage we currently have a full feedback loop as the POS (point of sale) terminals can track the efficiency of FLIO vouchers. Here we had several cases of the average purchase value for F&B partners increasing dramatically above the discounts offered. The travel brands which are consistent advertisers with us are used to getting good rates on their digital ads, driven by their strong brands. As FLIO is exclusively targeting shoppers while they are in an airport situation, our advertisers were surprised to see click rates on FLIO being consistently more than four times, sometimes eight times higher than in their tradition digital media.”
He continues: “So the contextual situation of being in an airport and then being served an ad for a product that customers will typically buy at the airport is a strong factor. We are currently working with retail operators to connect to their POS to be able to measure the effect of FLIO ads at the till.”
Today, FLIO works with more than 100 airports in Europe, and its portfolio is growing rapidly, as the app is designed to fit any airport around the world. “We actively work with Amsterdam Schiphol, Athens International, Bremen, Budapest, Cologne Bonn, Hamburg and Vilnius and are currently launching about two new airports per month. Also, Eurotrade at Munich Airport is working with us.”
Typically, larger airports have often more than five years’ experience with running their mobile apps and keeping them up-to-date. While these airports often have a loyal following among their local passengers, usage numbers for visiting passengers are low. FLIO has realised the potential to fill this gap and with its app creates a platform for those passengers who are only passing through an airport, but want to receive easy access to free WiFi, arrivals and departure information, insider tips and exclusive offers and discounts with key retailers, food & beverage outlets and passenger service providers. “After all, why would I install an app when I’m transferring at an airport,” says Uhrenbacher. “So, while Schiphol is keeping its own app for transactions, it has embraced FLIO as a means to communicate to arriving passengers. At the same time Schiphol profits from mobile advertising with FLIO. Recently, ABN Amro Bank became a FLIO customer at Schiphol.”
FLIO also caters for smaller and regional airports by aiming to offer the best app experience at the lowest cost possible. “Even tasks like integrating booking of parking or selling fast-track within the app, we can now build on within days for regional airports. So, Bremen Airport in Germany with two million passengers is one of the most digital airports in the world today, offering F&B vouchers, mobile booking for parking, and mobile lounge access.”
Looking ahead, Uhrenbacher concludes: “A glimpse of the future can be seen in the easyJet app, where FLIO is providing airport information and commercial offers. We will be distributing FLIO content and offers into any partner and channel where passengers need to see it.”