İGA continues work on new istbuy digital marketplace; launch imminent

By Andrew Pentol |

Istanbul Airport operator İGA Havalimani İşletmesi is designing a new digital marketplace offering products and services available at the airport.

Entitled istbuy, the platform will feature latest technology such as augmented reality and artificial intelligence. The evolution of the platform follows the trend for integrating digital experiences with physical retail.

In conversation with TRBusiness, Kadri Samsunlu, CEO, İGA, who revealed the airport operator was developing its own-commerce platform in an exclusive interview last year told TRBusiness: “From the 1990s to the present, shopping habits have evolved from traditional resources to online channels.

“The combination of multichannel marketing and online shopping with physical stores offers people an ideal shopping experience. Two percent of commercial sales at airports globally, for example, comes from digital channels. In summary, the online experience lays the groundwork for physical purchasing.”

Samsunlu added: “We will soon launch this platform where products and prices can be listed, queried and ordered through an advanced order structure.

RESERVATION AND DELIVERY FUNCTIONS

“Restaurants will be listed and be able to be rated. Reservations can be made and fast-moving consumer goods can be delivered to passengers under the İGA Uçur concept.”

Revenue in the first half of 2021 has increased 27% compared to the second half of 2020 at Istanbul Airport.

Samsunlu says the new digital marketplace will take the retail experience at Istanbul Airport to the next level. He also promises that it will enable passengers to shop with increased awareness and consciousness, learn what awaits them at the airport and avail various offers and suggestions.

“Passengers will benefit from a convenient airport experience,” he remarked. “They will have increased interest in commercial space, which in turn will enable them to have a pleasant time at the airport.”

Travellers will also benefit from the technological elements of the platform, which will feature a campaign module enabling commercial areas to create campaigns individually and interactively. Samsunlu explained: “With an augmented reality-supported platform, passengers will be able to see the campaigns and special product information in all stores on screens using their phones, cameras and indoor navigation services.

“Under this augmented reality-supported campaign system, an artificial intelligence-supported recommendation engine, along with recommendation technology will be used. This is specific to the aviation industry and Istanbul Airport.

“The system will produce individual or passenger-specific suggestions based on the campaign areas and passenger habits and will publish via the [digital] marketplace, augmented reality, Istanbul Airport application and digital screens.”

The combination of multichannel marketing and online shopping with physical stores offers people an ideal shopping experience, according to Kadri Samsunlu, CEO, İGA.

Additionally, passengers will be able to learn and spend loyalty points through the e-wallet function by spending money at the airport through the loyalty system. “We also plan to develop a contactless payment option by using the e-wallet concept and add a function to our platform that will enable products to be delivered at dedicated points like gates, lounges or to where passengers request.”

In terms of a timeframe for the launch of the marketplace, Samsunlu concluded: “Our passenger numbers are growing rapidly and spend-per-passenger is steadily increasing.

“Our priority is to implement the e-commerce platform as soon as possible as part of our plans to increase spend-per-passenger. Work to implement the platform is continuing rapidly.”

See the upcoming July/August edition in our TRBusiness e-zine series for more from our exclusive interview with Kadri Samsunlu.

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