Perth Airport is implementing a range of digital technologies to simplify the customer experience when passing through its facilities, while also helping the operator to better understand the breadth of customer interactions.
Chief commercial officer Kate Holsgrove told a Salesforce Industries Summit last month that the airport had come up with a multi-faceted strategy that it had started implementing during the pandemic.
“We’re focusing on revitalising the bricks-and-mortar experience because obviously that is really critical in the airport experience, using technology to innovate our parking and ground transport solutions, introducing new products and services that are relevant to each of the customer segments that we serve, and using [a] digital marketplace and customer data to be able to personalise that and meet the customer where they are on the journey,” Holsgrove said.
“We’re using technology to really try and integrate the physical and the digital to be able to personalise what’s otherwise quite a rigid processing journey in the airport.”
The ‘digital marketplace’ - which is live - goes “over and above a traditional e-commerce site to allow us to connect the very complex airport environment for the customer, and to make it as easy and seamless for them as possible,” she said.
Customers can use it to make advance purchases of duty-free items and lounge passes.
While one of the hopes is that it leads to greater satisfaction and therefore higher spend, Holsgrave noted it would also provide a new technology-based foundation to “connect all the dots” on how a customer interacts with different products and services at the airport.
“The challenge for us has been connecting the dots,” she said.
“So how do we know that Bob in our terminals is the same Bob who booked our car parking online, is the same Bob that’s currently on wi-fi and the same Bob that will transact with one of our retail stores, and by the way his flight leaves at 4 o'clock?
“And so for us this digital marketplace platform will ... be able to bring a lot of brands and a lot of experiences together in one place, and allow the customer to be able to transact across multiple different touchpoints in their journey -multiple different retail, parking, lounge and other experience offers - together in one basket and one transaction, and be rewarded with something that’s meaningful for them to be able to do that.”
So far, most users of the digital marketplace are fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers for Western Australia’s mine sites, given travel opportunities remain limited.
Holsgrove said that the airport had “used this opportunity to really hone in on that customer segment and understand them and what their drivers were.”
“So now we’re not only able to know that Bob is the same Bob in the carpark and in our terminals but we’re also able to know that Bob travels 20 times a year for work, that he likes to drink whiskey, and that convenience is really important for him, and when his flight leaves at 4am he just wants to get in and out as quickly as possible,” she said.
“We can use that data and insight, and the new technology platforms that we’ve created, to be able to serve Bob with meaningful, tailored communication at each point in the journey, and new products and services that meet his specific needs.
“So it gives us the opportunity to be able to service that customer in a way that we haven’t had before, and in a way that’s really meaningful for them, improves their convenience and importantly for us, improves spend.”
Delivering the digital marketplace during Covid had meant “a lot of false starts, a lot of stops and starts, and a lot of challenges along the way.”
Holsgrove said that Perth Airport had worked with Deloitte Digital and Salesforce on the project.