Make me an offer!

February 25, 2014

Most other retailers know they can easily increase profits by making an additional offer above the original purchase, which closely matches what a customer wants at any given moment. Airlines have made big moves, with some great success, to act more like retailers in recent years. But there is still a lot to be done. Offers remain relatively static especially when considering how dynamic the travel experience truly is!

For example, time-limited offers (think of snap chats disappearing messages) can be made to create urgency and these can be targeted at the customer based on their precise location (iBeacon or Gimbal), such as when they are approaching the airport, the boarding gate or when they disembark. This makes the offers both timely and relevant. In 2014 and beyond we will see mobile payments become significantly easier with one-click payment and the use of mobile wallets becoming the norm. This is already an everyday occurrence for millions of Starbucks customers who pay for their morning coffee in a similar way using their smartphones. Soon, airline customers will be able to tap one button on their smartphone to avail of and pay for a (push notification) offer on their mobile before it expires, perhaps 60 seconds later. There are almost limitless opportunities to engage with customers in this way.

Airlines have a distinct advantage over many other travel retailers – it’s their brand.  After all, the airline is most often the first point in my travel journey, and moreover when I am not skydiving out of planes I trust my airline to take me up 45,000 feet and down again safely, in comfort and on time. If they will listen and deliver precise and relevant offers throughout my journey, I will gladly click my travel spend through them over any other retailer! So, make me an offer!

Mark O’Brien
Travel Retail Insights, Datalex