Airports can be flooded with passengers at particular times of the day, especially when they are faced with a slew of international arrivals. During these times, duty-free shops may find it challenging to maintain sufficient inventory as they contend with incoming crowds. But platforms such as SkyBuys seek to make that time of the day – and days overall – easier by providing an online-to-offline platform that allows consumers to browse selections from duty-free shops and create customized wish lists.
Using this information, duty-free shops can monitor which items are being ordered and store them in travelers’ profiles, which include incoming flight details and previous purchase history. As a result, “this data can make predictions on possible stock items that will be purchased down to the SKU level,” SkyBuys CEO and Founder Alec Kemmery said in an interview with PYMNTS.com.
In addition, such apps seek to provide consumers with geographically targeted information: When a customer walks into a duty-free shop, SkyBuys pinpoints his or her location through the flight itinerary and geo-fence. With this data, the app can provide marketing opportunities to retailers and brands. For example, a consumer could receive an offer for a bottle of whiskey or perfume while he or she is in a duty-free shop.
“There’s a lot of excitement [from] the marketer’s perspective, because it opens up a whole new avenue for what they’re able to do,” Kemmery said.
In addition, SkyBuys aims to reduce the turnaround time for click-and-collect mobile orders at duty-free shops. Kemmery said that many concessionaires operate on a 24-hour turnaround, but the app is trying to reduce that timeframe to six hours. That would enable a traveler to place an order from the plane and collect the items upon arrival at their destination airport.
To facilitate payments, in-app purchasing is available through the Stripe gateway, as well as via application programming interfaces (APIs). The company, for example, uses the Connect API to split and settle payments between multiple parties and payment methods. SkyBuys also offers order-ahead, which allows customers to pay at a physical point-of-sale (POS) system when they reach their destination, blending offline and online commerce.