At the beginning of the year, Guestlogix officially launched the commercial release of our airline commerce platform, with several new airlines signing on as launch partners as well as our customer base of 25+ airlines being migrated to the new platform.
This month, we continue our series of blog posts (first post here) exploring the airline commerce platform’s capabilities in more detail. We’ll also take a deeper dive into retail analytics and day-of-travel ancillary revenues, to help airlines understand the business context of our product, and how it solves for both passenger experience and ancillary revenue growth.
The Business Context of Airline Commerce
Ever since the airline industry was deregulated, airlines have been “unbundling” fares and charging for ancillary services, which has helped drive down the cost of air travel. Passengers want low fares, but they don’t like the resultant trade-off where they are forced to sacrifice quality of service in exchange for low fares. They have accepted the trade-off – begrudgingly – but the result has been a long deterioration of passenger experience as passengers come to see air travel as an experience to be endured rather than enjoyed.
Guestlogix has built a full-suite platform to solve passenger experience and ancillary revenue challenges at the same time. The platform has three main components:
- Passenger Experience App
- Flight Attendant POS
- Management Console
We’ll explore the management console and flight attendant app in the coming weeks. Now, let’s take a closer look at the passenger experience app.
Guestlogix Passenger Experience App
For airlines, the first step to satisfying passengers and increasing revenue is to make them feel in control by empowering them to use their mobile devices at every touchpoint. The airline commerce platform transforms passenger experience by making it easy and attractive (through mobile devices) to browse ancillary merchandise and take control of their journey (seat/class upgrades, ‘jump the line’ privileges).
Not only does the passenger experience app improve the air travel experience – by conveniently supporting mobile wallets, for example – but the app gives airlines a direct channel to customers throughout the entire “day of travel” – before, during and after the flight. For airlines, the passenger experience app that Guestlogix built is at the heart of ancillary revenue growth, because it connects smartphones with passenger systems, ancillary merchandise, mobile payments, inflight service, frequent flyer programs and unlimited selling opportunities across the day of travel.
When passengers are hungry, cold or stressed, they feel powerless to do anything about it. Flight attendants do their best to provide customer service, but their time is stretched across hundreds of passengers each flight. The passenger experience app serves as a “digital concierge” and makes it easy for passengers to browse inventory, place orders and make payments. While this sounds like a straightforward mobile solution, the app’s unique value proposition (apart from being intuitive and easy for passengers to use) is that it solves specific problems that prevent ancillary revenue growth. By solving for passenger experience, Guestlogix is also solving for airline ancillary revenue – because they are one and the same problem.
With the passenger experience app…
- Airlines can add any kind of inventory to the catalog (not just food and beverage) and passengers can make purchases before, during or after the flight (seat upgrades, “jump the line” privileges, destination activities).
- Order tracking makes it easy for passengers and flight attendants to view, edit or cancel an order. The passenger app can also store a customer’s preferred payment method as well as mileage/loyalty points, making it easy for airlines to integrate loyalty programs with ancillary merchandising.
- Overall, the passenger experience app creates a personalized passenger experience where the passenger is in control and can take direct action when they feel frustrated, stressed or just feel like spending.
To help put the problem into perspective, consider that according to one study, 1 out of 5 consumers are more likely to switch brands after just one negative experience. The opposite is also true – just one memorable customer experience leads to a significant increase in purchases and recommendations. These findings reinforce the overwhelming connection between passenger experience and revenue growth, a connection made stronger by the passenger experience app and the underlying technology that powers it.
Stay tuned for our next post that takes a closer look at the airline commerce platform’s flight attendant point-of-sale app and management console.
If you liked this blog post, you might also enjoy this post on key IT trends in air transport or watch our webinar on Four Keys to Making Airline Travel a Wonderful Experience Again.