April 10, 2020

Heathrow Airport: Boutique transformed into digital omnichannel marketplace | Case Study


Heathrow Airport has a long-term vision to deliver a seamless digital
retail experience for its passengers. From home, on route to the airport
and once they arrive. It’s one of the most complex challenges
airports around the world face, as they take on the threat of e-commerce whilst trying to benefit
from the opportunities it presents. Heathrow’s partnership with AOE
is at the heart of building seamless
end-to-end experiences for passengers. Underpinned by AOE’s powerful omnichannel
multi merchant marketplace suite OM³, the improved digital marketplace for the airport’s
300+ brands and retailers is accessed through its online store:
Heathrow Boutique! It has already started to bridge the gap
between retail and digital in a meaningful way. Heathrow isn’t alone: Frankfurt, Auckland
and the first Airlines have already started rolling out AOE’s innovative solution. Since the highly successful launch of the
updated Heathrow Boutique in March 2018, the airport plans to rapidly extend the product offer. Passengers are contacting the support team
in the hundreds daily to ask about more products yet to be listed. This positive feedback is rapidly
accelerating plans to increase the range to include 40 additional retailers
by the end of the year. Much of the revenue is from high-end luxury, fashion, spirits, and consumer technology goods. Many of the most popular pre-orders are
top-of-the-line swiss watches, electronics – including Apple products –
and DSLR cameras. Recent research clearly shows that the majority of travelers have
already made the decision to buy and have identified that
getting their choice at the airport is a cost efficient and convenient ways to do so. They are using the platform
primarily to research and order high-value products and luxury items. This emphasis on luxury goods is reflected in an average basket value that is
more than five times Heathrow’s retail average. And with every new retailer added to the platform,
this number continues to grow. Heathrow Boutique is built on
a multi brand focused approach so each brand can control
their visuals on the site. Many premium brands like Montblanc
have their own branded shop-in-shop that is simple and intuitive to navigate. Click reserve, add your flight details
and in seconds it’s yours! And then, pick it all up at the collection point. A wide range of payment options and fulfillment
possibilities will be added in the next phases. With excellent feedback from both
the airport and customers and a very accelerated return of investment, it’s just the first phase launch of a much
broader digitalization program that is designed to grow
Heathrow’s digital revenues and contribute a significant portion of the
airport’s total commercial revenues. As Heathrow Airport’s Chris Annett says:
“This is just the beginning!”

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