Frankfurt Airport: Digitalization of Airports & Travel Retail

Digital Transformation

Offline business at Frankfurt Airport is transformed into an all-in-one commerce suite. Business intelligence and personalization optimize the customer journey.

Unique Travel Suite

Travel- and shopping mall concept integrates offer of numerous retailers with the help of more than 30 systems. The solution grows with customer needs and develops new business segments.

New Retail Concept

Unique new omnichannel retail concept simplifies seamless on- and offline shopping for passengers. Platform cross-links travel information, sevices, local stores and online shopping.

How Frankfurt Airport changed from an Airport to a global Omnichannel Travel- and Shopping Hub and became the first digital airport with AOE's award-winning OM³ Suite.

Frankfurt am Main, 9:30 a.m. Alex Smith is traveling from Frankfurt Airport to Heathrow Airport today with Flight LH 906. Before setting out from home, he uses his laptop to log on to the Frankfurt Airport Shopping Portal, where he purchases a hospitality gift for his business partner.

Upon arrival at the airport, Smith parks his car in Park House 2 (as usual), so that his way to the gate is as short as possible. After check-in, Smith has enough time to pick up his purchase at the store. He receives the necessary information on his smart phone using the Airport Mobile App. After stopping by the store for his order, he still has enough time for a cup of coffee – but he has to hurry, for the flight is on-time.

Visions of the future? No.

There is a strong causality between in-store retail and e-commerce. With the launch of our e-commerce marketplace, we are providing a unique shopping experience to our customers. They can choose and order products online, obtain detailed information and have the products sent to their home.
Karl-Heinz Dietrich
Senior Executive Vice President Retail & Real Estate
Fraport AG

The Challenge: Digital Transformation of the Airport

AOE’s task was to digitalize the business model of Frankfurt Airport and create and build an entirely new line of business – the digital transformation of Frankfurt Airport’s offline airport business to online commerce. Airports enjoy a special position, a status that also has an impact on the provision of services for travel and retail:

  1. They have high traffic levels,  respectively a high volume of passengers
  2. These customers are accurately known, identifiable and locatable through the flight data
  3. The airport controls the entire infrastructure

Cross-linking of travel information, services and shopping along the customer journey

The aim of the project was therefore to use business intelligence and personalization to provide relevant information and services to passengers during their trip – at the right time and at the right place. These microservices encompass the following features:

Shopping Experience

  • Before travel
  • During the flight
  • During airport layover
  • After the flight
  • During the return journey

Commerce Options

  • Product information
  • Product reservation
  • Online shopping
  • In-store shopping
  • Grocery packages


  • Delivery time of 45 minutes
  • Pick-up points
  • Pick-up during return journey
  • Gate-, lounge- or home delivery


  • Airport mobile app
  • Airport website
  • Loyalty program
  • Logistics and fulfillment
  • ERP systems
  • Multiple IT systems

For frequent travelers and international passengers alike, the solution will cover the entire bandwidth of the shopping experience in its final expansion stage. From online shopping, including online payment and fulfillment at the airport, to after-sales activities. Passengers should be able to look at, buy and pay for products while making travel arrangements, during the journey itself and during their stay at the airport, and be able to pick up their purchases or have them delivered to the gate or to their home, as desired.

The solution: Frankfurt Airport is transformed into an E-Commerce market place with Open Source-based omnichannel solution

Within one year, AOE implemented a complex E-Commerce- / online mall concept for Frankfurt Airport, including systems architecture at the technical level. As part of the concept, numerous retailers with their respective systems and product ranges had to be integrated into a single E-Commerce market place.

During the project, special challenges were mastered, including the functioning integration of approximately 30 systems, the scalable connection of a variety of re-tailing systems and product ranges as well as the collaboration with various service providers in an agile team of up to 80 people.

In addition to the complex architecture and logistics of the diverse and numerous functions, all existing systems such as customer relationship management (CRM), product information management (PIM) and the Fraport Loyalty Program needed to be integrated.

The result: A completely new commerce suite concept for the travel industry

The new solution offers passengers a variety of useful options for planning their travel and during the trip itself, during online and offline shopping at the airport and for accessing Frankfurt Airport services. Passengers can inform themselves about products and shop in advance of their trip or during layover- and waiting times. This significantly increases the window for shopping and makes waiting time utilizable, thus boosting sales. For retailers, the platform represents an ad-ditional marketplace that places all shops at the customer’s fingertips and makes all products available within no more than 45 minutes.

Business Benefits

  • Business model digitalization
  • Mall concept, retailer platform
  • Omnichannel solution
  • Personalization, customer, journey
  • Digital signage
  • Business sector development
About Fraport

Fraport AG is among the leading international companies in the airport business and, with Frankfurt Airport, operates one of the world’s most important air transportation hubs. The “multichannel” department implements Fraport's extensive digitalization strategy using an international and integrative approach. The department sets global standards in the airport business, particularly in the topic areas retail, E-Commerce and CRM.

Conference Presentation “Mastering Omnichannel Retailing at Frankfurt Airport”

Further insights into the Frankfurt Airport Omnichannel project can be found in the Imagine Commerce 2016 conference video by Kai Schmidhuber, Vice President Digital and E-Commerce at Fraport, and Kian Gould, CEO of AOE.

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