Despite strong profit projections in the past year, a new report from CellPointMobile claims that airlines are not taking full advantage of mobile solutions for their ecommerce infrastructures.
The findings, part of a monthly industry brief from the company called Mobile Commerce and Payment Innovation Across the Airline Sector, indicate that despite surges in smartphone solutions in other sectors, the airline industry still has much ground to gain. The report claims that airlines that embrace mobile commerce strategies and payment solutions benefit by establishing permanent, internal links to currently untapped direct-channel and ancillary sales, and they create a companywide mentality that aligns more closely with their passengers’ mobile-centric behaviors.
“Like many companies, airlines are doing business with millions of passengers in a market that is undergoing rapid change, and change is never easy,” said Kristian Gjerding, CEO of CellPoint Mobile. “Airlines typically face same kinds of internal challenges – budget constraints around new initiatives, vast amounts of data that must be connected to this rapidly emerging mobile environment, and legacy technology infrastructures that require hard-to-find internal resources and expertise.
“Databases and technologies built for plastic cards must be modernized and updated in real time for transactions and payments that increasingly will take place on smartphones, tablets and wearable devices,” he said. “We recommend that airlines begin adopting a retail or ‘selling’ mentality so they can envision mobile payments as a way to access new revenue streams from passengers as they travel.
“Today’s consumers already rely on their smartphones for everyday interactions with their favorite retailers, stores and restaurants, for example, and they increasingly expect the same kind of built-in, capabilities as they travel – whether booking or rebooking, purchasing an item on board or booking a post-destination theater ticket.”