Digital Conversation 300

GERMANY. In the latest edition of The Digital Conversation, in association with Shiseido Travel Retail, we focus on AOE – a service provider that implements open source web and e-Commerce solutions – and what the company describes as the world’s first Omnichannel E-Commerce Platform for the airport & travel industry.

AOE was responsible for the technical implementation of an online retail platform at Frankfurt Airport designed to enhance the shopping experience for travellers.

Travellers can now view the entire product ranges of participating airport shops online and reserve their products. Orders can then be collected and paid for at the relevant shop.

The service also includes an online payment system and delivery of purchases – including mixed baskets from several different shops – directly to departure gates or even to the purchaser’s home.

AOE’s solution is also behind another collaboration between airport owner Fraport, Lufthansa and Heinemann. The ‘Lounge Shopping’ service enables departing travellers to purchase products for delivery within half an hour using iPads supplied at selected passenger lounges.

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AOE CEO Kian Gould: “[The platform] will fundamentally change how people shop and travel”

For incoming travellers, an ‘Inflight Shopping’ service enables long-haul Lufthansa passengers to purchase exclusive products from airport stores during their flight and collect them at the arrival gate immediately after landing.

Fraport and AOE won an Imagine Excellence Award in the Best Omnichannel Experience category at an awards ceremony coinciding with the Imagine e-commerce convention in Las Vegas in April. The convention was hosted by Magento Commerce, a provider of open omnichannel innovations in the e-commerce industry. Fraport’s e-commerce activities are based on a Magento platform.

The award win highlighted the innovation behind the Fraport/AOE implementation. “Together with AOE we were faced with the enormous challenge of transferring our offering into the digital era,” said Fraport Executive Vice President Multi-Channel Kai Schmidhuber.

“The result is a unique solution for the travel industry that unites complex on- and offline services and provides the optimal travel experience for our customers. AOE impressively demonstrated that they could adapt to all eventualities during the project, while also being able to flexibly implement new ideas not contained in the original concept. For that, we can only award the highest praise and a big point for respect.”

AOE CEO Kian Gould said the project was the company’s “most ambitious and comprehensive” ever. He commented: “It represents a major milestone for our company. It’s also a milestone for the travel industry, especially in the retail sector, as it unites more than 30 systems and brings together numerous retailers and service providers in an entirely new and innovative mall concept.

“Not only is it an industry first, we believe it will fundamentally change how people shop and travel.”

About AOE: AOE was founded in 1999 as AOE media by Kian Gould and is headquartered in Germany. It is a leading service provider of open source enterprise web solutions. The company implements open source web portals and e-commerce and mobile applications for international companies on a global scale.

AOE’s major markets are in Europe, Australia and the US. Today, AOE says it is the leading open source web solutions provider in Germany, number three in Europe and among the top 10 globally.