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AOE’s Omnichannel Multi-Merchant Marketplace (OM³), successfully launched at major airports around the globe is now available as a solution for transforming digital business models in travel retail for major carriers. The OM³ Airline Edition is set to achieve for airlines what the platform has already achieved at Frankfurt, Heathrow and Auckland Airports. The announcement, made just before the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference taking place in Cannes, comes in the wake of the first go-live of the new solution, which was recently announced together with KrisShop, Singapore Airlines’ flagship travel retailer.
“We are very pleased to raise our travel retail expertise to the next level and provide a custom solution for the world’s major airlines,” AOE CEO and Founder Kian Gould said. “We have been able to take the experience gained during years of building solutions for airports and adapt OM³ to meet the specific needs of airlines. We hope to be able provide our clients with a solution that will reinvent in-flight travel retail as we know it and give them the tools to create new sustainable business models for long-term growth.”
AOE initially focused on airports during the development of OM³. Gould said the company considered the airline space to be a dying breed of sorts at first, with in-flight offerings becoming less and less attractive for carriers. At the same time, AOE had been considering the idea of expanding its solution to include airlines.
What provided the spark for the OM³ Airline Edition has been the partnership with Singapore Airlines. “KrisShop had a very specific vision in recreating its in-flight offering,” said Gould. The idea behind the service is taking it away from onboard and expanding it to include more delivery options, a massive SKU base and an extensive list of top-flight retailers.
According to Gould, what drove AOE into investing significantly into its own Airline Division was the realization that airlines have one major advantage over airports – large amounts of customer data that airports would need years to collect. “Airlines have vast amounts of information about their customers, based on long-term relationships. This data is extremely powerful, because it is essential for entering into targeted, personalized communications with each passenger,” he said. “Only by addressing each passenger in such a manner, can full-service carriers build commerce business models that will be successful in the long run.”
Gould added that the OM³ Airline Edition is quite similar to the solution currently in use at airports, as it also includes multiple retailers, drop shippers and distributors. Each of stakeholders has different data sources, held in different systems. According to Gould, many airlines have shied away from offering their own service due to this complexity, often outsourcing the service to an experienced company.
The OM³ Airline Edition has been live since July of this year, forming the foundation for Singapore Airlines’ KrisShop. The new KrisShop.com offers a premium look and feel, optimal customer experience and a sophisticated design as well as numerous new features. These include the mixed-cart transactions for in-flight- and home delivery, Ctrip integration and soon customers can preorder up to 60 minutes before flight departure. KrisShop places a special emphasis on an appealing presentation of best-selling brands in its store. Premium brands such as Apple, Bang & Olufsen and Chloé benefit from the shop-in-shop concept.
“We believe that KrisShop’s implementation of our solution is a clear signal to the industry that travel retail players need to build personalized Omnichannel commerce models in order for their retail business to be viable long-term,” Gould commented.
As part of the continued development of AOE’s OM³ Solution Suite, the company announced a new leader for the OM³ Airline Division. Michael Raasch will join AOE as its Head of Airline Solutions on 1 October 2019. Raasch will be responsible for the strategic development of OM³ Airline-specific solutions, with a special focus on helping the OM³ Airline Edition gain a strong foothold in the travel retail industry, particularly with major carriers.
In the run-up to the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference (29 September to 4 October 2019), AOE CEO and founder Kian Gould spoke with DFNI after the announcement about the motivation for developing an OM³ Airline Edition, how it will disrupt the travel retail market and how the solution creates a better, more satisfying customer experience. For details, please read the full interview in the October issue of DFNI and excerpts in DFNI Online coverage.
AOE’s award-winning Omnichannel Multi-Merchant Marketplace (OM³) supports multi-retailer locations. Airlines have the same needs as airports, shopping malls or integrated resorts to seamlessly integrate offline and online experiences into a fully functional suite of software applications and services. OM³ provides a unique platform for Omnichannel commerce and provides customers with a variety of useful online and offline shopping, service and real-time information options.
AOE develops digital business, E-Commerce and marketplace solutions based on Open Source technologies. The company specializes in the implementation of complex enterprise software applications for global corporations and supports its customers in the development of digital business models. In addition, AOE develops its own products such as the Open Source framework Flamingo and the Omnichannel Multi-Merchant Marketplace OM³, the leading E-Commerce marketplace for the aviation industry and travel retail – currently live at the international airports of Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Auckland as well as Singapore Airlines. Headquartered in Wiesbaden and with more than 250 employees in five countries, AOE serves the growing aviation customer base as well as global companies such as BMW Group, congstar, Deutsche Telekom, Commerz Real, Sony and Panasonic.
KrisShop is Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) flagship travel retailer that provides an omnichannel E- Commerce platform committed to bringing accessibility to customers through flexible delivery options and online pre-order services. Formed as a joint venture between SIA, ground handler SATS, and duty-free retailer 3Sixty (previously DFASS Group) in November 2018, KrisShop offers an extensive and curated selection of products at attractive prices.
With its repertoire of leading global brands such as Apple, Samsung, Swarovski, and Estee Lauder, the retailer promises unrivalled service, quality, and value to its customers. KrisShop also supports homegrown brands with its dedicated “With Love, SG” concept store, presenting a slice of Singapore for travelers and tourists. Other unique concept stores include “KrisShop Cares” that is dedicated to supporting and giving back to the community, “KrisShop Discovers” that gives travelers the opportunity to discover new and authentic products from around the world, and “KrisShop Moments” that offers customers a range of services including floral delivery, hotel dining promotions, tourist experiences and more. Please click the button for further information.
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Aviation & Travel
One of the biggest emerging trends I have seen in the airline sector over the last couple of years is the concept of passenger self-serve onboard or order to seat. Despite the almost constant discussion at every industry event, the funny thing is, this isn’t really new at all – almost 10 years ago, a former CEO of an onboard retail technology provider proclaimed: “Over time the duty free model will shift to 100% passenger self-service transactions. One of the biggest reasons being the fact that the trolley only comes down the aisle once a journey, for half an hour – in essence the duty free store is only open for half an hour. If I can make transactions myself, through self-service technology, the store is open for the entire flight.” And yet, a decade later, this isn’t even close to the reality on-board most aircraft. During the pandemic, with the need for social distancing, coupled with a desire for innovation, self-service again bubbled to the fore – it gained a new level of relevance. With passengers across all demographics accustomed to ordering everything from groceries to new cars via their phones, digital transactions onboard an aircraft look to be a natural extension of what has become an everyday digital experience. The aviation sector is obsessed (but occasionally intimidated) by digital answers, and there is much that can already be done. Making a digital store available for browsing and even purchasing is achievable, both on IFE and passengers own devices. The process raises a number of operational implications, such as how crew learn of and deliver orders, how payments are handled (particularly if there is no air-to-ground connection) and how this sits alongside the existing cabin service. All of these issues require significant thought and, in some cases investment; and there lies the heart of the problem.