Seeking to avoid unnecessary contact between passengers and crew, airlines cut sales opportunities out of the inflight experience. That’s a major hit to revenue for the airlines and to passenger comfort. Bringing that back, with less interaction, could be a big win for all parties involved. Retail inMotion and Bluebox are teaming up to deliver a limited touch retailing option for airlines in hopes of restoring some of that value.
Virtualizing the trolley and facilitating touch-less payments, we’re enabling passengers and crew to maintain as much social distance as possible, while keeping open an important revenue stream for the airline.– David Brown, Director of Business Development at Bluebox
The new partnership will allow airlines flying the Bluebox WOW streaming IFE solution to link inflight retail sales in that system to the Retail inMotion merchandising platform that runs the inflight sales operations. The streamlined process removes payment interactions between the crew and customer as that’s all handled directly via the Bluebox portal. Crew are alerted to the order and can fulfil it on demand rather than rolling a full trolley through the aisles, hoping for a sale.
Airlines today face an increasingly challenging and evolving environment in meeting the levels of service passengers have come to expect over the last number of years. By combining the expertise of Retail inMotion and Bluebox, we can help airlines address these challenges both now and in the future while increasing ancillary revenues.– John Vaughan, Head of Product Management at Retail inMotion
The new process allows airlines to “get back to delivering in-flight experiences that delight passengers without compromising the safety protocols that are being implemented to protect both passengers and cabin crew,” notes David Brown, Director of Business Development at Bluebox. It is an end-to-end solution combining platforms the airlines are already familiar with to deliver more ancillary revenue potential and an improved passenger experience.
From concept to reality – quickly!
The two companies say they’re already in discussions with one airline to augment an existing Retail inMotion implementation with the Bluebox IFE and ancillary revenue option. Brown again highlights the ability for “full integration of the two systems, effectively extending RIM’s retail solution via Bluebox Wow in order to deliver a touch-free retail solution” as a key factor in the airline’s interests.
And Bluebox is also reaping the benefits of the modular design it started with. Brown describes integration as “relatively straightforward due to the complementary architectures we have.” He continues, “We’ve always considered it important to have partners to deliver additional pieces of a puzzle – by partnering we’re expediting what would otherwise have been a lengthy and costly ‘build’ decision were either of us to attempt to deliver the missing pieces ourselves.”
Beyond the Bluebox basics
Getting a basic shopping cart and touchless payments into the portal is “relatively simple” for Bluebox and those solutions already exist. But the Retail inMotion partnership enables a much more significant level of integration. Tying in to airline inventory control and analytics is key to success, and that expertise lies squarely within the Retail inMotion operations. And that will drive growth in the partnership and integration opportunities, according to Brown:
Bluebox can offer a simple ‘get started’ retail solution for airlines potentially struggling with meeting post-COVID-19 safety requirements, but together with RIM we can offer a digital catalog and touchless payment solution plus a fully integrated retail solution.