The distribution channel once defined as a chain of intermediary routes to the consumer is now firmly repositioned as the retail channel, whereby the airline assumes responsibility for all goods and merchandize positioned to the end consumer, irrespective of channel. The journey to travel retail for airlines continues with unprecedented challenges but with a fervor and passion also unprecedented. Even if those that can do and those that can’t (and they shall remain un-named) are still preaching.
The airline industry was the father of customer service and loyalty for many industries over the past twenty five years. Today, we observe a new generation of industry executives that brings that airline heritage of service to bear coupled with the learnings from retail, brand and channel success in other verticals. Whether Nike, Walmart, Amazon or Apple, it’s all about merchandizing and choice across channels, brands and customer experience.
Today’s and tomorrow’s travel shopping and retail experience must anticipate, recognise and predict the needs of the consumer; that technology is there today. At Datalex we call it ‘Persona’lization!
Business and technological flexibility have become as one and the future looks bright for travel retailers if we can dispel the myths of technology limitation and instill the doctrine of customer listening and tailored response. Then we can deliver on inspiring, personalized and profitable customer relationships for the next 25 years.
Together with our airline customers, we have met many of today’s retail challenges and enabled every strata of the supply chain to move beyond the status-quo and to put the old distribution business models to the ultimate test. For that we are eternally grateful and our challenge to our customers is to keep pushing us! Travel Retail is our Passion and Innovation our Religion. Thank you for 25 years!
Cormac Whelan, CEO