How clustering rich data profiles leads to upsells and brand awareness: Scanning flight tickets at checkout

At the checkout at Schiphol, travellers’ flight tickets are scanned - but how do you make smart use of this data?

Each day, more than one hundred thousand travellers walk through the airport. Some are shopping peacefully, others are rushing to the gate, and yet others are still working behind their laptop in the lounge. Through monthly surveys, we know their age, nationality, and gender, but also their travel intentions (business or pleasure) and their destination that day. When buying sunglasses, headphones, or a last snack for the trip, their flight ticket gets scanned as well. This combination of data gives advertisers information about different target groups, their behaviour, and the effects of different touchpoints at Schiphol.

Why would you scan flight tickets?

You’ve probably experienced it yourself. You have your boarding pass ready, have passed through customs, and quickly walk past the shops at the airport. Tax-free shopping? You don’t say no to that. At the checkout, you pay for your luxury purchase or last-minute travel essentials. The cashier scans your flight ticket - or you do it yourself. But why?

Scanning flight tickets isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s necessary to complete your purchase. Tax rules vary from country to country, so the price for one passenger may be different from another. Also, depending on your destination, some products need to be packed in a seal bag along with the receipt.

Scanning airline tickets at the checkout also offers opportunities for advertisers. Schiphol has insight into total spend, spend per passenger, number of transactions, size of transactions and different capture rates. Couple this information with flight data and enriched profiles, and you immediately have a lot of data at your disposal.

Capitalising on trends

The combination of flight ticket information and point-of-sale data allows marketers to stay abreast of trends. Outside the holiday period there are many business travellers at the airport, but in summer there are a lot more vacationers walking around. Therefore, the spending done is seasonal - and it is smart to tailor ads to these specific needs. This may seem obvious, but it says a lot about your media planning. Besides, if you know there is an explicit demand for your product, you want your brand to be top-of-mind.

For example, a comparison of different transactions shows that cosmetics are very popular among passengers: a perfume is sold somewhere at Schiphol every 3.5 minutes. With insights like these, Schiphol can give you appropriate advice for your marketing strategy. This data also makes it possible to measure the effect of campaigns. For instance, you can find out how buying behaviour differs in places with and without advertisements.

Long-term impact

Responding to airport-specific trends not only upsells products in the short term, but can also increase brand awareness. Especially when you cluster the data from all the different checkouts over a longer period of time. Schiphol categorises transactions based on airlines, destinations, products, places at the airport and brands. These analyses make it possible to specify different target groups, predict when they are where, and adjust your campaign planning accordingly. Do travellers with disposable income gather in lounge 2? If so, this turns out to be a strategic advertising spot for luxury brands. By being constantly visible in the right locations, you increase overall brand awareness - not only at the airport, but also at other outlets.

Your dedicated promo point

Advertisers also have an entire promo point at their disposal at the airport. Here, you can create a unique brand experience, and immediately give your target group the chance to make a purchase - at your own checkout. French fashion house Chanel, for instance, provided a clearly recognisable and stylishly executed spot, where travellers could easily get their hands on one of its luxury products. And with success: the various media objects combined with this promo point increased sales by 66%.

Wondering what airport advertising can do for you?