Let’s think about personalised essentials. As a service, this could allow passengers to order a holiday kit of toiletries, beauty and grooming products to collect at the airport or in-flight, using their boarding pass data to match their individual needs. These packages would be also be highly customisable and tailored to each person’s trip, taking into account the climate and real-time weather of their destination, preferred brands, skin and hair types, and much more.
Further, these kits would include the ideal amount of product for the length of their trip, meaning less waste and increased sustainability, while removing the need and stress to carry liquids on board – a key opportunity at a time when airline restrictions are still undergoing review.
We could also see data shape the in-terminal experience, with smart billboards and signage that adapt their messaging based on those persons in a particular area. And when it comes to retail, such billboards would also present new shopping mechanisms for passengers in a rush – something not uncommon in airports – or those making regular repeat journeys for work or play. Existing technologies such as RFID, iBeacon and QR codes would mean that their favourite products or past purchases previously captured using smart boarding passes could be translated to create personalised in-flight retail offers for each passenger, evolving the more they spend.
Finally, intelligent retail driven by data could also adapt to fit with flight departures or arrivals. By partnering with specialist services, this could echo the very familiar behaviour of buying both low and high-value items online for next or same-day delivery. Items purchased in the airport, or even on the plane, could be delivered to where the shopper desires; their hotel upon landing, their home for when they return, to collect before their flight, or upon landing. In fact, they could even be ordered to the store of the shopper’s choice within the airport space, creating an opportunity for add-on sales.
As noted, the amount of customer data already tied up within boarding passes means that the base of this future retail infrastructure already exists. Now, it’s down to airports and the retailers and brands housed within them to start harnessing this data to provide a more complete and elevated airport shopping experience like the one already enjoyed on the high street and online.
Lee Carroll is an interaction and experience designer at multidisciplinary studio Seymourpowell.
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