Airline catering provider, Gategroup, is reporting increased demand for ePax, its passenger-facing ‘digital retail solution’ as airlines resume flight operations. ePax is an application that lets passengers interact directly with crew and navigate their own personal journey preferences via their smart devices.
ePax, available through gateretail, removes the requirement for both a printed menu and a retail catalogue onboard. Passengers can instead use their own electronic devices to access a retail web service which is operational in both online and offline cabin environments. Passengers can choose from a range of products, including travel and destination services to assist their journey.
The platform is powered by social prediction tools provided by Gategroup’s partner, Black Swan Data. These tools can be used to help forecast consumer preferences and traveller demands, which can be responded to appropriately to enhance passenger experiences or generate additional value for Gateretail customers.
The system can also be used to make cabin service efficiency improvements as it minimises or eliminates the need for airline crew to undertake several steps in the service model. The platform can be offered as a standalone system or integrated with existing inflight connectivity platforms.
“The most important step for airlines right now is to ensure passenger and crew safety as the world starts flying again. Airlines are seeking retail technology that is effective in this new operational setting. In parallel to safety and efficiency, we also want to strengthen airlines’ ancillary revenue streams, particularly by widening the portfolio of products relevant to a passenger’s journey,” said Federico Germani, chief commercial officer at Gategroup. “Until now, we have been limited by what we can stock on the trolley. Tomorrow, we are only bound by the appetite of the passenger. ePax ‘breaks open’ the trolley, delivering new options in a contactless manner through this true digital transformation.”
Black Swan Data CEO, Steve King added, “We have seen increased demand from carriers who want to digitalise their retail offer. ePAX’s innovations, including data-driven mobile product stores, digital payment options, and intelligent recommendations, help airlines deliver safer on-board retail models, while enhancing passenger choice and ancilliary revenues. We are embarking on a new era of inflight retail, one that is more attuned to the experience at home”.