SimpliTrends: Virtual Shopping emerges as one of the most exciting innovations in Airport Marketing

Editor’s Note: SimpliTrends is a new series of articles that will elucidate, to our readers, the latest trends in airline and airport marketing. Read previous articles in the series here. [push h=”15″]

Today’s travellers, with sophisticated mobile devices always at hand, are open to new experiences, especially those that increase convenience and reduce the tedium of waiting at boarding-areas. Given that travellers often have to wait for at least an hour or more on average to board their flights, airports have a huge opportunity to engage them during this time by providing boarding-gate conveniences.

Engage travellers at boarding-gate areas

Boarding-gate areas at many airports have recently been renovated with power outlets and some even offer iPads for free use. Games, Internet and entertainment bring amusement to long airport waits. Refreshments can also be ordered from the tablet for delivery at the seat.

But even more excitingly, innovative concepts that combine effective signage with mobile technologies are now allowing concession companies and commercial partners to penetrate into gate seating areas and sell after people have passed by restaurants and stores. A number of airports have unveiled virtual shopping walls from which passengers can conveniently buy products by simply pointing a smartphone at the wall and scanning the QR codes alongside the products pictured on the virtual shelves.

Leverage technology, reduce boredom, drive revenue

Apart from offering passengers the convenience of hassle-free shopping, including home delivery in some cases, virtual shopping has three major implications for retailers and airports:

  • First, it offers mobility to retailers unlike ever before. Retailers can advertise and sell actual products at various touch-points in the airport, unfettered by the complications of their actual brick-and-mortar establishment.
  • Second, airports and retailers can discover and analyse the touch-points that are most conducive to retail and accordingly optimise their virtual shopping placements to maximise revenue.
  • Third, and perhaps most importantly, airport retail is poised to become more interesting than ever before.

What if relatives could surprise their kin at the airport while sitting at home? What if travellers could have a parting gift delivered? What if virtual shops are created on mobile devices or apps, but customised according to the preferences of a buyer as indicated on his/her social networks? The possibilities are endless. Undoubtedly, Virtual Shopping is a rising start among innovations in Airport Marketing.

To learn more about the ways in which Virtual Shopping is benefitting airports, and to also discover a great airport case-study about it, you can download our free report below.

More trends, more insights

Our State of Airport Marketing 2013 report identifies the seven most important trends that define airport marketing today, and includes detailed case-studies with each trend that showcase how some of the best airports in the world are adopting a new approach to marketing their airports. You can download the report right away by clicking below. Also, read on for an exciting product announcement below. [push h=”14″]


Grab it

Airport Marketing Benchmark Report

In such a fast-moving environment, it is important not just to be creative and innovative yourself but to be more striking than your immediate competition as well. However, given the speed at which things move in digital media, it is no easy task to stay on top of the latest trends, fads and innovations. (If you’re from an airline, we already offer monthly Airline Benchmark Reports.)[push h=”14″]

Produced by SimpliFlying, the premium quarterly airport marketing benchmark reports are the answer to this challenge. Each report will contain a selection of the most innovative marketing and advertising campaigns launched by airports around the world and assesses their impact. [push h=”14″]

Here’s what an eager airport has to say about our upcoming report, to be launched in October 2013: [push h=”14″]

“After successfully introducing the Airline Marketing Benchmarking reports, inspiring the aviation industry to move forward on engaging the connected traveler, now we are presented with the Airport Marketing Report. This couldn’t have come on a better time, since airports around the world are accelerating on customer engagement, conversation strategies and smart use of social and mobile media. Airports will find these reports extremely valuable since through inspiration, the industry is guided, moving us all forward.”

Eli Lejeune
Marketing Manager
Eindhoven Airport

For questions about the premium report and to subscribe to it, please click here or contact David McMullen at

Shubhodeep Pal

Shubhodeep Pal

Vice President, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying
Shubhodeep Pal is the Vice President, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying. He has been leading Research, Product Development, Marketing and Business Development since December 2010 from the headquarters in Singapore. He has spoken at airline conferences and delivered training workshops for senior aviation executives. He has also appeared on television interviews and been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal. His writings have appeared extensively on SimpliFlying and respected industry outlets such as Airlinetrends, Tnooz, Airport World, Low Cost and Regional Airline Business Magazine and Loyalty360. In a previous role, he also conducted a workshop on social media at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. He speaks three languages fluently, and is also a published poet and amateur film critic. He can be reached at
Shubhodeep Pal
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