written by Steven Bailey Chief Strategy Officer
How to make your business future-proof with an Omnichannel Marketplace
How to make your business future-proof with an Omnichannel Marketplace
About the author Steven Bailey Steven Bailey Chief Strategy Officer

How can companies digitalize themselves in a meaningful way, develop value-adding digital business models and profitably use technology? Steven Bailey, Chief Strategy Officer at AOE, addresses this question with concrete business cases in aviation that can be easily transferred to other industries (including a video of his presentation at DMEXCO 2019).


We all know: For companies, digitalization means both opportunity and risk. New digital solutions are revolutionizing markets in all industries, and those who stop and don’t reinvent themselves lose out. Companies have to keep an eye on the markets, accept changes and react flexibly to them.

Video: “How to make your Business Future-proof with an Omnichannel Marketplace”

Here are some concrete examples from the aviation industry: The travel retail market is changing completely; previously successful duty-free and in-flight shopping concepts are steadily losing their impact on the bottom line. Spend per Passenger is decreasing, despite globally growing passenger numbers. While in the past, passengers primarily made impulse purchases, purchasing behavior has clearly developed into a mainly planned shopping behavior – a development clearly support by data from current market studies. For market participants – airports, airlines, travel retailers and brands – this means a complete reorientation in the market.

The same applies to other industries: Companies must operate cost-effectively and at the same time offer high-quality services and products, taking increasing speed of innovation and customer expectations into consideration. New vendors and business models are entering the market, forcing flexibility, change and realignment from companies.

Unexpected Revenue Potential - “Only Digital”

At the same time, this reorientation in the market also offers a wealth of opportunities for companies. Companies can analyze customer behavior based on data, actively design digital business models and customer benefits, and combine services. The aim is to build trust with different touchpoints on different channels along the entire customer journey. Digitalized processes make companies more efficient, more cost-effective and can open up new business areas.

Specific results of digitalized processes from the aviation industry:

  • Extended Customer Journey: Airports and airlines extend the “Golden Hour - i.e. the time of passengers at the airport – to a “Golden Month through the online offer
  • Cross-/Upselling: Additional products and targeted personalized promotions increase cross- and upselling potential
  • Multiple Touchpoints: Passengers can shop at their desired touchpoints – before, during or after their trip – including payment and same-hour delivery to the gate or seat – or they can opt for home delivery
  • New Business Models: Auckland Airport offers its passengers tax-free shopping in Auckland City, creating a win-win-win situation for passengers, retailers and the airport
  • In-flight Pre-Order: Singapore Airlines offers a variety of products for sale in its KrisShop even before the flight. Delivery is flexible: on-board, home delivery or to a collection point for pick-up at the destination airport

Technology transforms business models and creates added value

Digital models such as the ones mentioned above can be established in all industries – for this, the corresponding potentials must be identified and suitable models developed.

These five examples provide an insight into how technology can also transform digital business models in other industries and create added value. The use of appropriate solutions is an important part of this. We have developed the Omnichannel Marketplace OM³ for the aviation industry. For other industries, especially for companies with a strong B2B focus, we recommend the B2X Commerce Cloud.

Generally speaking: First comes the innovative business model including ROI, followed by the technology to technically implement the “Reasonable Product” . The goal of all of this is to offer users a clear added value as well as customer benefits.

Data-driven Commerce Solutions

Another decisive point: the meaningful use of data in real time. Customer data is the coin of the realm for data-driven E-Commerce. It enables targeted, audience-specific customer communications, personalized promotions and creates more reach. Taking aviation as an example: business travelers have different needs than those going on vacation, and Asian passengers have a different buying behavior than European ones. Depending on the target audience, airports can offer suitable products and services, such as lounge access for business travelers and discount campaigns for passengers on holiday. If travelers are late, fasttrack booking can be offered automatically. Through loyalty program integration, purchases can be rewarded, e.g. VIP services or upgrades from 1,000 loyalty points onwards. Here again, there is a clear focus on added value for the customer.

Conclusion: Technology as a Precondition for sustainable Business Models

For companies, technology is an important component for securing the future in order to be able to model future business models and react flexibly to market changes. Companies must create the necessary conditions to remain successful and competitive in the future. Flexibility, innovative business models and the use of appropriate technologies are the most important cornerstones to look confidently into the future and to continue to build trust.