Mobile applications are becoming a valuable source of ancillary revenue for both airports and airlines. Lufthansa announced earlier this year that it is working with Fraport to offer retail services through a mobile app.
This comes as part of the ‘Multichannel’ project, which consists of: ‘Lounge Shopping’, ‘In-flight Shopping’ and ‘Taste & Travel’. Although this project is not a regular service yet, it has been well received by passengers so far and there are plans to develop and improve it.
Kai Schmidhuber, Senior Vice President of Multichannel, told FTE: “The retail offer at Frankfurt Airport is like a world of its own, providing an enormous range of products which largely exceeds the in-flight shopping offer provided by airlines. It has thus been logical to make products that can be physically purchased in the terminals also available online, particularly via the Frankfurt Airport App.
“We have received positive reactions from passengers, who have been generally very interested in the offer. The challenge remains, of course, to convert interested customers into actual customers. We have built positive momentum and are gaining valuable insight into customers’ needs with a number of accompanying measures.”
He added that most of the passenger suggestions for improvements have been to increase the range of products available to buy.
Offering digitalised services in addition to regular retail is key, according to Schmidhuber. Travellers are able to browse offers from the shops before the flights, mark their favourites and then buy the product.
They also have the ability to go into the shop for advice or to see it. He said: “Thus, the Multichannel offer does not entail an ‘either/or’ decision from the customer but combines the strengths of both stationary retailing and the opportunities offered by digitalisation.