Keeping it fresh

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Airport operator Abu Dhabi Airports achieved record commercial sales of AED707.6m (US$193m) for the first six months of 2015, a 10.9% increase when compared with the same period in 2014. Dan Cappell, acting chief commercial officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, spoke to Passenger Terminal World about some of the methods behind driving commercial revenues.

How did the commercial team achieve record sales?

Sales at the airport are driven by the strength and diversity of the retail offerings. We are constantly striving to support each of our concessionaires to bring innovative concepts and appealing offers to passengers. We also develop new and exciting promotions to engage with people passing through duty free. Our aim is to surprise and delight travelers with new options every time they come to the airport.

What retail solutions do you have on offer?

Our retail offerings include a wide range of products especially tailored to appeal to frequent flyers. The wellness services available at each of our spas also help travelers in transit to relax and feel rejuvenated between flights. Finally, we know that many of the passengers visiting Abu Dhabi International Airport have discerning taste and a desire for the latest fashions. We cater to these guests by providing exclusive brands, world firsts, pop-up stores, and well known and luxury fashion outlets.

How do you encourage passengers to spend?

It’s all studied and planned. Initially, we ensure that the right products are at the right places and prices to meet our various customer profiles. Then, we link this plan with value for money pricing and the innovative promotional and marketing activities that include spend per head campaigns, where customers can win luxury cars, gold or cash.

How do you offset the cost of the main competition prizes such as the luxury cars?

We are very proactive in that sense as we budget for such major promotional campaigns ahead of time and then measure the results closely. Also, we believe that customer satisfaction offsets any cost.

What are the main challenges in arranging these competitions?

Our aim is to surprise passengers with things they have never seen before. As we constantly strive to be innovative and avoid repetition of campaigns, finding that creative spark can be a challenge. Fortunately we are blessed with a team that always seems to dream up something new.

What technologies are used to improve sales performance?

We promote all of Abu Dhabi International Airport’s services via our website, social media and digital advertising channels. We also use a combination of tools that range from detailed consumer research to sales data analysis. The data from these tools helps us track our performance, sales trends and the impact of our promotional and marketing activities.

What plans do you have to improve retail offering?

Currently we are working on finalizing the overall commercial offers for the new Midfield Terminal Building and we are extremely excited about how they are shaping up. With this project, entirely new concepts will help us to realize the airport’s incredible potential, and we believe that it will have a significant impact on our overall commercial plans.

December 4, 2015

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About Author

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Kirstie joined the team in early 2017 and brings writing, communications and client experience with her. Now an assistant editor, she produces content for magazines Passenger Terminal World and Postal and Parcel Technology International and their websites. Away from the office, you will find her struggling along the pavements of Surrey as she trains for the Great South Run, blogging on her lifestyle website or searching the internet for photos of sausage dogs.

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