easyJet is to trial an inflight digital retail system that allows passengers to browse, order and buy from inflight retail ranges, from their own mobile devices.
The Luton-based airline is going to trial the ePax digital retail system from gategroup, a Swiss-based airline catering and retail services company this winter.
Announcing the trial, gategroup says it is an industry first. It says “For the first time anywhere in the world, passengers will be able to access a full on-board retail offering in one location from their own personal device, keeping physical contact with equipment or material onboard to a minimum.”
The retail experience will be accessible via connection to an onboard wireless network through a passenger’s own browser.
Epax apparently will present passengers with more of what they want, based on factors such as flight destination, flight duration and time of day, as well as insights generated by a wealth of inflight retail data.
A plus is that by removing the need for physical menus and brochures the airline can remove a lot of paper from the cabin. Smarter loading of cabins based on retail data can help to reduce waste.
Robert Carey, Chief Commercial & Customer Officer at easyJet:
“We are always looking to enhance our customer’s travel experience. From searching for a flight to making sure they can eat what they want onboard, we are excited to bring this new technology to market as a means to give customers more of what they want and reduce waste across the airline.”
Federico Germani, Chief Commercial Officer at gategroup:
“We are delighted to be partnering with easyJet to be working on this innovative industry-first solution and to trial a mobile, end to end retail experience in the cabin. At gategroup we are committed to data driven innovation across our retail offerings, providing value not only to the end passenger but also helping our airline partners build superior customer experiences.”
easyJet and onboard technology
The success of the trial will depend on a number of factors like passenger take up, ease of use and how much ancillary revenue it can bring for easyJet.
The airline trialled inflight entertainment in 2017. Passengers also accessed the service with their own smart devices. That trial was with Japanese digital giant Rakuten and Spanish-based in-flight entertainment specialists Immfly.
For whatever reason it didn’t become permanent and easyJet still does not have any inflight entertainment.
N.B. Image credit: gategroup