In the past, time spent waiting at airports was something to be patiently tolerated at best. That this is no longer a reality is a testament to monumental (and much needed) strides made in improving customer experiences. “Airports have evolved into airport cities3″, Says Julie Hoffman, head of industry strategy for travel and hospitality at Adobe. “If you think about it, they have entertainment, culture, dining, recreation, attractions, hotels, and then luxury retail is a big part of that. Gone are the days of limited duty-free shopping and offerings.”
Yet finding specific shops or services can be a totally different (and frustrating) story. Enter the rise of connected technologies, like beacons.
At the Côte d’Azur Airport in Nice, France, for example, passengers will find several beacons installed throughout the terminal. This allows the airport to send personalized, branded information and promotions to passengers based on their location in the terminal. It also automatically adds points to Premium club fliers, assists passengers in navigating through the airport and helps them access the ‘Fast Track’ security features.
With 83% of passengers carrying smartphones, there is a real opportunity for brands and partnerships to personalize and enhance the customer experience. By adopting proximity marketing tactics – the smartphone technology that allows companies to reach customers in real time with the info they need, when they need it – airports can make major improvements at key touchpoints of the passenger journey, from gate finding to baggage collection, sharing in-airport store promos and more. Even better: beacons can serve as an effective tool in maximizing airport revenues from streams outside of airline operations. The more sales they can boost in food and shopping, the better off their bottom lines will be.
Data digitalization is no plane Jane
GlobalData reports that spending at airports reached? $38 billion in 20164 and will hit $49 billion by 2021. Where airports used to serve as a thoroughfare and nothing more, they today serve as valuable retail destinations in and of themselves. With the advent of these new digital data tools, airlines and airports have ample opportunities to enhance customer experiences and find partnerships that support their vision. The sky’s the limit.
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