Thinking like a retailer: Using personalisation to drive sales for airlines

Jennifer Bourdeau

Product Marketing, Merchandising, Airline IT, Amadeus IT Group

This content is only available in this language.

Airlines are now capable of collecting and analysing more and more traveller data including mobile app and social media behaviour, session history from in-flight connections, travel history, and previous purchases. It is essential that this information is captured, stored and shared, to create a single unified traveller profile that enables personalised merchandising. Just as Amazon disrupted the publishing industry with a big data approach to retailing, and Netflix disrupted the video-on-demand market to provide personal video recommendations, an airline must use the data it collects to provide a more personalised experience to its customers.



As airlines begin to move deeper into the end-to-end travel experience space, personalisation becomes even more important. Using big data tools, travel companies such as Airbnb and Kayak are personalising search results around user preferences, social connections, rental history and other web footprints such as reviews. In the competition for additional service revenues, airlines must compete against data-centric travel companies.

Our findings indicate that 26% of travellers are more likely to respond to messages tailored to personal interests and 22% are more likely to respond to promotions that are specific to their location – further underlining the importance of personalisation to boost profitability.


Airline Merchandising

Airlines must incorporate personalisation into each of the five critical elements of their merchandising strategy. If airlines use the traveller data they collect to personalise the timing, technique, channel, service and price to individual travellers, then relevance, conversions, and revenue will all increase.

Have a look at our Thinking like a retailer report for more insights on personalisation and merchandising techniques that will help airlines unlock an additional $130bn in revenues by 2020.


Traveler Experience, Merchandising, Research