EXCLUSIVE interview: Nicole Foo, iShopChangi for TRBusiness May e-zine

By Charlotte Turner |

According to Nicole Foo, Vice President of Online Operations at Changi Airport Group (CAG), iShopchangi has seen ‘significant year-on-year growth’, with locals now contributing to the majority of its sales.

 

In this TRBusiness exclusive interview, Foo tells Charlotte Turner how the airport was able to accelerate the transformation of its ecommerce platform, first launched in 2013, and why it remains distinct from other dual marketplaces.

 

This is an extract from an interview published in the TRBusiness May e-zine. To read the full-length article click here.

 

How can iShopChangi compete with other e-commerce giants? What are its USPs?

Nicole Foo: Tax- and duty-absorbed prices on 100% authentic products makes for a powerful proposition, especially for our domestic shoppers since savings can be up to 40% off downtown prices, particularly on wines and spirits.

Tax- and duty-absorbed prices on 100% authentic products makes for a powerful proposition

Tax- and duty-absorbed prices on 100% authentic products makes for a powerful proposition, says Nicole Foo.

The increased accessibility for shoppers – it’s no longer a fly-to-buy service – only makes the reason to purchase even more compelling. Plus, we have a comprehensive procedure of checks and balances to make sure we only onboard partners who are brand owners or authorised resellers so that we can guarantee product authenticity.

We curate our range of products carefully so that our shoppers are first to gain access to travel exclusives, special releases, Changi First (first-to-Asia, first in the world) launches and more. Our assortment also includes limited edition series and merchandise.

For example, we released special edition gift sets with Kinohimitsu for the Christmas season, which included best-selling bird’s nest sets packaged in deluxe gift wrap.

Intrinsically, it’s not just about what we do, but how good we make our customers and partners feel. As much as we can, we extend the Changi DNA of service excellence into iShopChangi by going the extra mile to energise, uplift and support.

How has the platform evolved since it first launched?

iShopChangi first launched 2013 to provide extra convenience to travellers through Changi Airport, offering more than 6,000 products from all terminals at the click of a button. Passengers would shop online and collect their items at the airport before departure or upon arrival.

However, we have since transformed and evolved the business on multiple fronts. While expanding the business for the domestic market, iShopChangi also evolved and expanded its range of products.

The wines and spirits category has always been a perennial favourite among travelling shoppers, but with iShopChangi now offering non-travellers these products at over 40% off regular prices all year round, these have now become popular among local consumers too.

In addition, with Covid-19 forcing restrictions on the operational hours of food & beverage outlets in Singapore, we saw more customers enjoying alcohol from the comfort of their homes and iShopChangi has since seen a seven-fold growth in alcohol sales.

To serve the non-traveller market better, iShopChangi also brought in merchants not typically seen in airport retail. Off-airport brands like Dyson, Saito, Glenmorangie and IDS Skincare were among the 1,000 brands across 130 merchants to have come on board in the past year, bringing iShopChangi’s total brand and product count to more than 1,800 and 24,000, respectively.

The platform has also diversified into new categories including home & living and sports & lifestyle. More recently, iShopChangi rolled out its first omni-channel retail concept, Beautique by iShopChangi, in September of 2021.

iShopChangi rolled out its first omni-channel retail concept, Beautique by iShopChangi, in September of 2021.

iShopChangi rolled out its first omni-channel retail concept, Beautique by iShopChangi, in September of 2021.

Have those off-airport brands who joined the e-commerce platform been interested to develop a physical presence at the airport since being listed on iShopChangi?

There has been interest and we have worked with some wines & spirits brands for smaller activations at Changi Airport at the end of last year; iShopChangi is definitely a great opportunity for brands and retailers to test out Changi Airport’s shoppers’ interest on their products and also an entry point into the larger Changi retail ecosystem.

This is an extract from an interview published in the TRBusiness May e-zine. To read the full-length article click here.

 

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