CANADA. Onboard sales technology provider Guestlogix has launched a new three-axis airline commerce platform aimed at driving up the conversion rate of inflight retail.

The platform is “entirely new to the airline industry, where only 7.5% of passengers make onboard purchases – a conversion rate that has not improved in years,” said Guestlogix.

The platform’s three key components are: a point-of-sale app for cabin crew; a management console; and passenger mobile app. Together, they are designed to maximise ancillary revenue on the day of travel: before, during and after the flight.

A passenger mobile app aims to target travellers on the day of travel: before, during and after the flight

Despite generating higher ancillary revenue overall – mainly due to fare unbundling – airlines still struggle with onboard purchasing. The new platform gathers, analyses and uses passenger data for retail sales and marketing to drive this and other types of purchasing.

“This platform is the easiest solution in the market to use and implement for onboard retail,” said Guestlogix CEO Mike Abramsky.

“Airlines can quickly and cost-effectively transform how they generate revenue through onboard sales and other ancillary merchandising, and achieve the same level of personalisation and profitability as ‘on the ground’ retailers such as Amazon and Starbucks.”

Closing up a long-standing disconnect

Currently, onboard sales are largely dependent on legacy point-of-sale devices built to process orders and payments. However these are often disconnected from any passenger systems.

“This is backward and inconvenient for passengers increasingly accustomed to doing everything – from hailing an Uber to ordering pizza – on a mobile app or voice-controlled device,” the company said.

The management console and cabin crew console facilitate execution and monitoring of sales

The new commerce platform is designed to transform the passenger experience via mobile devices, by making it easy to browse ancillary merchandise using an app.

From a crew, sales and marketing perspective, the management console enables the monitoring of sales performance across flights and the running of personalised, data-driven campaigns based on predictive analytics.

“Passenger-centric retail analytics is uncharted territory in the airline industry – this is what sets Guestlogix’s passenger mobile app apart from competing point-of-sale solutions,” said Abramsky.

“With a mobile-first platform, carriers can significantly increase onboard sales but also develop any other ancillary revenue opportunities they can imagine throughout the day of travel, including advertising, sponsorship, inflight entertainment and destination activities.”