Given the current growth of technology, most airports already know how many people to expect in their airports at a particular point in time. What they do not know is what these customers would prefer when inside their airports. They probably do not know if they will spend their time just sitting at the terminal, or if they plan to shop, if they have some work to finish before their next meeting or they have back pain and would prefer a massage!
According to a survey by OAG, 45% of
travellers spend their time sitting and working at the gate while only 7% went to restaurants, shops
and retail places and 32% split their time between all these activities. Airports can raise more
revenue from non-aeronautical activities which accounted for only 40% of the total revenue in 2018
according to a report from ACI.
Most airports are spending huge amounts of money on improving the experience at their airports. They are constantly trying to automate tedious and long tasks such as check in and thus more time to be spent by the travellers inside the airport. According to Future Developments who looked at the changing face of travel, “Airports are seen as an experience” not just a mere place to wait for your next flight. Airports are bringing in more brands, retails and other experiences like accommodation making most airports cities on their own. The question is, is this enough to influence travellers spending inside the airports? What they are forgetting is 71% of customers prefer personalized services.
There are over 1200 international airports in the world with about 847 airports in Europe only. This means for a frequent traveller who takes around 6- 8 business trips in a year on average, and suppose they visited 5 new airports in that year, they will need to visit or download 5 websites/apps to get information on those particular airports. This is a cumbersome task to most, who according to Thinkwithgoogle, 36% of millennials in the US would pay more for a tailored information.
With 10% growth per year, the airports retail market is booming, and is expected to reach 125 billion US dollars in the next 10 years. Airports are no longer just a place where airplanes take off and land; They are vital economic generators providing a gateway to their city, state, region, country. With the increasing number of passengers, airports will devise ways of improving customer experience for improved performance. On average, travellers spend 18 USD on food and beverages, 33 USD on non-duty-free items and 76 USD on duty free items per airport during their travel. Everything is done to encourage the immediate purchase of goods and services. Yet, a large majority of travellers do not purchase anything because they are not able to find what they want. Retailers need with a channel to reach out to profiled potential customers.