Introduction:Airlines have more customer data than any other fields, and the information contains high-value intelligence which has a profound impact on operation, efficiency and service. However, at present, most aviation enterprises still follow the traditional retail mode left over from the tourism boom of the 1980s. As a result, it is still difficult for airlines to really capture large amounts of data and use it to generate insights in a meaningful way.
“Good morning, Miss Jones. Welcome to the new normal flight from London Gatwick airport to Paris. Please take a moment to visit our portal through the device you have or the prompt on the back of your seat. You can order any food and drink here and our flight attendant will deliver it immediately. Would you like your favorite latte and omelette combo? ——Click here to have another one. “
Airlines have more customer data than any other fields, and the information contains high-value intelligence which has a profound impact on operation, efficiency and service. However, at present, most aviation enterprises still follow the traditional retail mode left over from the tourism boom of the 1980s. As a result, it is still difficult for airlines to really capture large amounts of data and use it to generate insights in a meaningful way. Finally, after the plane landed, everything that happened on the plane could only exist in the minds of the crew for a short time, and soon disappeared with the opening of the next flight.
However, the times are changing, and the comprehensive attack of the cowid-19 epidemic has brought a heavy blow to the profits of aviation enterprises, and also enhanced people’s urgent desire for automatic and seamless waiting and flight experience. In addition, the technology industry has developed innovative airborne systems to help airlines capture large amounts of passenger data and provide various services for long-distance passengers.
With these innovations and insight into big data, airlines will have a huge advantage over their competitors. From reservation, check-in, boarding to boarding, airlines can track all kinds of information of customer groups. Specifically, airlines can not only easily find the best selling products, but also use big data to deeply understand customers’ purchasing habits, and publicize the most favorite products to passengers on thousands of routes at the right time and place. By aggregating historical information, airlines will be able to predict and model customer behavior, generate personalized results, and drive future ticket sales.
However, all this is just a preliminary vision. A considerable number of airlines have been struggling to survive and need to persuade external investors to postpone the withdrawal. Whoever can succeed in this crisis will be at the forefront of aviation services in the next era.
Amazon teaches us what is the real power of data
Amazon’s success in online shopping depends on the basic idea of “one store, all inclusive”. Many customers don’t really know what they want and which product is worth buying. Amazon’s job is to provide them with personalized suggestions and sort out the most suitable product recommendations according to their past preferences.
The reason why Amazon can do this is that Amazon will continuously collect data during customers’ browsing and shopping. The more Amazon understands the business, the more accurate it is in predicting future product purchases. In addition, once the shopping needs are clear, Amazon can also simplify the process of guiding the purchase.
Specifically, Amazon’s recommendation technology is based on collaborative filtering, that is, first of all, the user’s portrait is used to establish a preliminary understanding of the buyer, and then the ideal product is recommended based on this material similar to personal data.
In addition to the purchase operation, Amazon also records what users have viewed, the shipping address, and whether they have written comments / feedback. They can even find other products that are suitable for the market segments of similar customers, and organize recommended content for you according to the query content of other similar customers, which can be said to be quite intelligent.
Why can’t the aviation industry do it?
After imagining the bright future and looking back at the bleak reality, it seems that the Amazon model in the field of on-board retail is still far away from us.
Considering the basic conditions inside the aircraft, it is not difficult to understand why the pace of innovation around prediction and analysis is always slow. Passenger data often has a clear lightweight characteristics, and it is difficult for airlines to understand the preferences or expectations of passengers on board, except for a small amount of foresight, dietary requirements or historical purchase records on current flights. In addition, the carrying capacity of the aircraft is very valuable, so it is difficult to reserve sufficient inventory. We can only store some souvenirs and other small items related to the destination according to the route. During the journey, passengers browse the on-board catalogue, and all purchase activities are recorded in the form of paper orders. The most popular products sold out quickly, and the passengers who couldn’t buy them were very frustrated This is the reality. Where is the way to change?
Another very important fact is that at present, only one tenth of the passengers choose to do duty-free shopping on the plane, which is equivalent to only 10 to 12 sales per short flight and 30 to 40 sales per long flight. In addition, the number is slowly declining year by year. It is generally believed that this is due to the limited choice range, high indirect costs and complex distribution process. After all, in addition to the inventory, the itinerant trolleys on the plane and even the product catalog itself will occupy a considerable part of the aircraft capacity. In other words, any unsold product will bring high cost, and inventory management becomes extremely difficult because it is difficult to predict and replenish in time.
In the final analysis, no matter what opportunities there are, the on-board retail business has not received much attention until now
Challenges brought by the outbreak of cowid-19
Under the impact of the covid-19 epidemic, Airlines began to pay attention to the power of big data for the sake of health and safety. Obviously, this will not only significantly improve on-board health standards, but also help ease the increasingly tight operating profit pressure.
According to the latest report released by black swan and apex, the confidence of passengers was seriously affected after the outbreak, and more than 8.5 million social conversations began to convey negative emotions – an increase of 43% in the past two months. According to black swan’s will Cooper, health problems have become one of the three main reasons for passengers’ negative emotions. To this end, airlines must increase the proportion of technology in customer experience, which will not only help to capture important customer data, but also help airlines show a firm will to improve and solve the anxiety of passengers.
Today, passengers want a seamless and efficient experience on the road. It is the responsibility of airlines to provide passengers and crew with such a way of travel with as little contact as possible. In fact, a series of recent communications with airlines show that limiting the contact between crew members and passengers has become a basic premise for airline employees to return to work normally. In this regard, only technology can really strike a balance between the demands of both sides.
Federico GERMANI, chief business officer of gategroup, said in a recent press release, “for airlines, the most important step now is to restart aviation services worldwide while ensuring the health and safety of passengers and crew. Airlines are trying to find effective retail technology in this new operating environment. “
In view of these pressures, Airlines began to consider taking advantage of this rare opportunity to ground their fleet and promote technical testing based on the actual environment. The most far sighted airlines are already working out plans to explore cooperation with technology and retail suppliers.
“We need Google level operational capabilities”
Focusing on enterprises like Amazon, we can see how the Internet has changed consumers’ shopping habits and specific ways. And the potential in it is entirely possible to reshape customers’ shopping habits in the air.
Gategroup / Black Swan’s TRT epax solutions and other ordering and inventory systems have been continuously developing. With the improvement of aircraft networking capabilities, airlines can deploy end-to-end solutions to continuously serve customers and capture relevant data along the way. All this not only helps to eliminate passengers’ concerns about the effectiveness of health and epidemic prevention, but also allows airlines to explore a feasible way to collect and use data on the plane.
“We need Google level operational capabilities,” says Joe leader, chief executive of apex If airlines can really use the technology so skillfully, AI applications will become easier, and eventually create an air version of Amazon retail experience.
For aviation, which has always been a slow-moving industry, this reform undoubtedly represents an exciting step. Any practitioners who ignore the trend of the times and the direction of history will be abandoned by every passenger and even the whole era.