SkipQ targets travel retail industry with multi-stakeholder marketplace app

By Kristiane Sherry |

SkipQ is hoping to disrupt how consumers engage with airport services

Travel retail tech business SkipQ has announced a fundraising round in its bid to build and scale its global marketplace platform for global travel retail.

SkipQ will bring airport vendors and services together in a single app, providing a direct link with airline passengers.

Set to launch in English, Spanish, Russian and Arabic, SkipQ will enable retailers to sell their products to consumers regardless of their arrival or departure location.

Customers will also be able to access food and beverage offers, parking and onward travel through the platform, which will launch in app form.

Retail partners and other suppliers will receive real-time sales forecasts and dynamic pricing information based on SkipQ’s AI and data-driven tech.

Founder Jure Bratkic is developing the app to cut out airport stress and queuing, and to enable travelling customers better access to products and services. At the same time, retailers and other business partners will have better access to data.

“Compared with other apps, we are merging all services and stores at all airports around the world on a single platform,” Bratkic told TRBusiness. “The app includes and offers our users multiple verticals, from the most traditional shops, restaurants, bars, and duty free, to E-sim, parking, transportation, and the latest hypes like VR.”

SkipQ cites a recent US study by DKNA that suggests that less than 20% of air passengers spend money at airports, averaging around US$140 and has shared IATA data forecasting traveller numbers to hit four billion by 2024.

Solving pain points for consumer and retailer

Marketplace models have become accepted by consumers in other luxury verticals (for example, art and fine wine), and SkipQ is hoping to offer similar services in the airport space.

“We would like to be recognised as a company which transcends the traditional expectations of travel retail and act as a merger,” continued Bratkic. “Consequently, global incorporation, global payment options, multilingual selection, AI and in-house Big Data is for us a must. This way we can really predict and understand our customers and what they want then relay this message to our business partners.”

The SkipQ concept came from a realisation that digitalisation within the airport ecosystem is lagging behind other sectors.

Bratkic continued: “Consequently, we turned to aggregators and companies which have developed tech for airports. Simultaneously, we are connecting with individual airports, however due to multi-layered decision-making processes is, it is taking a longer time to get an audience.”

SkipQ claims it will offer powerful data insights for retailers, and pain-free shopping for consumers.

On SkipQ’s data potential, Bratkic added: “Using predictive analytics, we know when a consumer is willing to hit the buy or purchase button. This data provides our suppliers with key sales and pricing information. They know the optimum selling times and the quantity of services and merchandise that can be sold.”

In February 2022, Pernod Ricard GTR revealed it had developed its UP&UP app to train and develop its network of employees.

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