Airlines are highlighting their offerings through merchandising. According to a recent study by Amadeus titled "Thinking Like A Retailer: Airline Merchandising," carriers are able to stay in the minds of consumers by using merchandising as a tool to sell products and services.
The report looked in-depth at how airlines are personalizing offers that meet traveler's preferences and interests, considering the impact of the services they offer and the price, enabling merchandising on mobile devices and creating offers that customers will want to buy.
The cost of travel has skyrocketed and airlines now offer many more services than they used to in the past. Skift reported that there are tickets available for families and bundled offerings that can make travel more simple.
Transparent shopping and booking processes are also becoming increasingly important for airlines that want to convey their value to consumers.
Retail-minded airlines are creating visualization tools that get customers engaged such as mobile apps and websites that are user-friendly and increasing the value of bundled airfare. Travelers who are always on the go can even receive "push" notifications that will tell them when a new deal is available.
Other merchandising packages from airlines include ticket flexibility options, travel insurance and additional miles or points for frequent flier programs. Customers booking business travel can also choose flights based on what the airport has to offer. If they need Wi-Fi, priority boarding or airport parking, carriers can include these services in ticket descriptions so buyers know what they're getting.
In-flight connectivity is becoming increasingly popular as business travelers want to stay connected with those on the ground. When this service is merchandised by airlines, it may play a major role in whether they book a flight with a particular carrier
Personalization is becoming increasingly important as no traveler is alike and will not have the same experience. Airlines also want to make the booking process easier on travelers and travel management companies by offering their services on different platforms – such as desktop computers and mobile devices.
When tablets, laptops and smartphones are available for customers to book travel, revenue for carriers can increase, the Amadeus report found. Not only does merchandising make booking easier for travelers and allows them to choose from a variety of services for their entire journey, but it increases the visibility of airlines and highlights what each one has to offer.