You’re in a hurry and you want to order your favourite coffee from Starbucks. Not a problem – you can use the coffee chain’s Mobile Order and Pay service to pre-order your espresso-based treat, quickly pay via the Starbucks app and then dash into the store to collect your freshly made beverage.
Or what if you’ve forgotten an important anniversary or birthday? Open up the Amazon app, choose from the online retailer’s huge catalogue and then opt for Sameday Prime delivery. It’s companies like Starbucks and Amazon which are making it easier than ever for customers to part with their cash – providing services that are consumer friendly and offer a clear benefit.
The same can’t be said for the airline industry. Despite advances in technology and lots of initiatives to increase ancillary revenue, airlines seem to get the implementation all too wrong, all too often. Even when passengers see the clear benefit of an add-on service, it’s still way too difficult to actually take advantage.
Take airline’s offering a buy on board (BOB) food and beverage service for example. Passengers have to wait for flight attendants to wheel out a cart with a limited range of stock. Then they’ve got to patiently wait for the cart to reach them and hope what they want hasn’t yet sold out. It hardly makes for a passenger-friendly experience or an efficient way to boost ancillary revenue sales.
Ancillary sales services aren’t currently passenger friendly
What makes it even worse is that many passengers can see the benefit of paying for services and goods that improve their experience – but airlines are still struggling to remove barriers from the sales funnel. What you’re left with are unhappy passengers who can’t see the value or benefit of what airlines now offer for an additional charge.
That’s a problem that Guestlogix, an airline ancillary revenue specialist wants to tackle head-on with it’s ‘airline commerce platform’ – hardly an inspiring name but the system could still excite airline execs. The idea is to introduce the same customer friendly services that ground-based companies offer to both improve the passenger experience and ancillary revenues.
But this isn’t just some point of sale (POS) device to make the work of flight attendants easier. It’s an entire suite of services which Guestlogix says “delivers more opportunities for ancillary revenues than any other alternative.”
Guestlogix is “consumerizing” the passenger experience
The platform can be best understood as a way to sell BOB food and beverage as well as Duty-Free and passenger comfort accessories, but it’s much more than that. Implemented in its entirety, the system can plug into existing airline systems to sell seat upgrades, “jump the line” privileges and lounge access. It can even be used to sell destination packages.
Guestlogix is candid for the purpose the system – effectively “consumerizing” the passenger experience. But the makers believe their all in one approach will actually improve the passenger experience, saying their platform “alleviates the nickel and diming” perception that some passengers have of onboard retail and ancillary revenue charges.
To do this, the system is built around a powerful mobile-based sales application which can plug directly into the airline’s existing app and website. Guestlogix claims that “on the ground” experience shows consumers overwhelmingly adopt this type of technology, leading to a significant increase in revenue yields.
Here’s how it works – before, during and after the flight. Once the passenger has booked a ticket, the mobile app can be used to pre-order goods for delivery on the flight. That could be food and beverages or some other sales item. This allows the airline to easily manage inventory, making sure that sales aren’t lost to customers who are ready and willing to buy.
The platform can drive sales, before, during and after the flight
Taking data from existing systems, the platform can identify upselling and cross-selling opportunities, delivering bespoke offers and messages to customers in order to maximise revenue. Additional data from frequent flyer programmes can be utilised to offer discounts and special offers to high-value customers.
During the fight, there’s no need to wait for the food cart to arrive at your seat. Passengers can open up the app and order from their seat. Utilising a local area network, the order is sent straight through to the flight attendants app. The payment is processed securely via the app making the work for flight attendants easier and quicker.
And once the flight is complete, Guestlogix can then sell destination packages and collect important feedback from passengers. That data is then fed back to the airline to further improve their service proposition.
Guestlogix has already signed up a number of airlines for the system and more are expected to join soon. And while the majority are low-cost carriers, expect full-service airlines to join the list in the not too distant future.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.