People booking leisure travel are often looking for a new, exciting, or relaxing experience, and as experience has become more important to consumers, the travel and hospitality industry is seeing robust growth in vacation and travel spending.
Higher spending levels on travel means more customers sitting in the airport waiting for their flight. This should be a boon to merchants and retailers who call airport terminals their home. After all, airports already have plenty of the makings of great customer experiences and often have no shortage of restaurants and retail stores to keep travelers busy while they wait for their flight.
However, despite this diverse and often luxurious offering, many consumers find shopping or dining at the airport to be a passable experience at best, and often much worse.
It’s a bleak scene — but luckily, it’s all beginning to change. Recently, smart merchants and retailers in airports are increasingly investing in providing better customer and product experiences — and seeing results.
High prices, a lack of research-ready product information and omnichannel shopping features often mean that scoping out purchasing or buying new items at an airport retail storefront was like taking a trip back in time to a mall in 1985, shopping without any modern conveniences or innovations.
But at Germany’s Frankfurt Airport, the shopping experience is more akin to a major brand’s flagship store than an outdated strip mall. Travelers can use the airports’ omnichannel tools, including eCommerce sites and mobile apps to find real-time information about what retailers are operating in a given airport or terminal, their hours, and even the products they have available for purchase. This helps consumers feel more comfortable with the airport shopping experience, encouraging increased spending before travelers board a flight. And, travelers have an additional choice: items purchased at the airport can be delivered to the gate at boarding time, or even shipped home. In this case, shopping at the airport while otherwise waiting becomes “time well spent” – a cornerstone concept of the experience economy.
By providing a wider array of product information and improved product experiences, Fraport was able to leverage omnichannel selling in airport shopping which led to an increase in average order value as well as an improvement in the customer experience.
Everyone likes a discount. This may be the biggest reason that duty-free retail has grown to become a $67.74 billion market as of 2018. But while cheaper prices are compelling to many consumers, research shows that modern shoppers tend to value the experience that accompanies as much or even more than its price when making purchasing decisions.
Walker found that organizations believe that by 2020 customer experience will increasingly become more important than price in their business strategy. So, when Lagardère Travel Retail sought to bring its like of Aelia Duty Free stores into the omnichannel age, the company prioritized the digital customer experience.
Now, shoppers can access the company’s network of more than 300 stores spread out over 50 airports across 18 countries from their computer or mobile device. They also have access to a wider and more diverse catalog of products after Lagardere worked to optimize its catalog update and product enrichment processes to bring new products to market more quickly and give customers more information about the items available for purchase.
This has given Lagardère Travel Retail new revenue streams and avenues to interact with customers and helped ensure that customers shopping via any channel walk away from their duty-free buying experience satisfied.
Give travelers an experience worth writing home about
Neither of the top-notch customer experiences we’ve discussed here would be possible without near-perfect product experiences.
Product experience is the core component of any compelling customer experience — it includes all of your product data, information, and assets, any content that helps define your omnichannel customer experience. With a Product Experience Management (PXM) solution, your team can harness the power of product information and use it to create a compelling experience for all of your eCommerce customers.
That way, customers looking to purchase travel and hospitality products who come to your eCommerce site, mobile app, or any other sales channel, are greeted with a buying experience that meets — and even beats — their already high expectations.
Give travelers an experience worth writing home about! Learn how PIM and PXM can help take omnichannel experiences to new heights by reading our blog on Turning A New Commerce Channel Into A Success or get in touch today!