Airlines can learn sales tricks from retail firms

Greater personalisation will boost ancillary revenues


Airlines can boost sales if they look at what retail companies are doing, an industry leader explains, especially in creating highly customised offers for target audiences.

Airlines practically invented brand loyalty, Paul Coby, chairman of the air transport technology company SITA, says. But today, highly personalised selling is something the retail industry is tightly focused on. Companies like Amazon try to understand what people buy and how they shop.

“Showing someone a product aligned to their personal tastes is obviously more likely to make them buy,” Coby says.

Not just recommendations on what to buy, but also up-selling and cross-selling are tricks that airlines can learn from. As new technologies increase the possibility of personalised interactions, airlines can significantly raise their ancillary revenues.

New generation passenger systems, big data analytics, business intelligence and cloud computing will allow airlines to behave more like retailers, engaging buyers via different channels from smartphones to tablets.

Airline Business

[photo courtesy TAVA / Latvian Tourism]


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