“Becoming a Retailer” Part 2: Access

Digitally-savvy travelers want to connect, creating new opportunities for airlines and airports to sell throughout the passenger journey.   While passengers want to buy more items online, via mobile or on a kiosk, airlines and airports are not optimizing these self-service channels to merchandize, and are potentially missing an opportunity to sell more.


At what point in the traveler journey are consumers most likely to buy?  There is a growing focus on better merchandizing to passengers throughout the airport, but research indicates there may be untapped retailing potential before passengers even get there.  The 2014 NCR Traveler Experience Survey1 found that 38% of consumers are most likely to purchase ancillary items and amenities, such as upgrades, wi-fi, bag fees, inflight meals, and duty free goods on their mobile device before arriving at the airport.


Upon arrival, nearly 4 in 10 travelers are likely to buy during the check-in process on a kiosk, 1 in 3 travelers are likely to purchase on a kiosk or mobile while waiting at the gate, and 1 in 4 travelers are likely to purchase on a digital sign throughout the airport.


What types of items are travelers most interested in purchasing through self-service?  Approximately 42% of passengers are likely to purchase an inflight meal on a kiosk or mobile.  An additional 4 in 10 travelers will buy duty free items, and 1 in 3 will buy destination activities, upgrades and inflight entertainment.

How do travelers prefer to pay for purchases?  Results indicate there may be an opportunity for airlines and airports to better collaborate to improve the passenger experience, with 79% of travelers saying they want to use frequent flyer miles or loyalty points for airport purchases.  This is a simple way for airlines and airports to broaden access and increase loyalty.

Adopting a retail mindset and understanding when, what and how consumers purchase can help airlines and airports better reach today’s digitally enabled, traveling consumer by giving them more time, more ways and more opportunities to shop.


To learn more about how to make buying a breeze for today’s digital consumer, download this free webinar.

1The 2014 NCR Traveler Experience Survey is an online survey of approximately 6,000 adult consumers in the U.S., U.K., China, UAE, Australia and Brazil and was conducted in December 2013 by market research firm ORC International.