China Eastern, BlueFocus hype new inflight retail era driven by e-commerce

Cheung speaking at the simulation

China Eastern Airlines and BlueFocus IFEC have jointly conducted a simulation for what they call the world’s first “Air to Home” inflight shopping service, which allows passengers to make inflight purchases on their mobile devices and have them delivered to the recipient’s doorstep.

The new service will also enable passengers to use and earn China Eastern loyalty points in their inflight transactions, and all products will be delivered free to passengers’ home.

Cheung speaking at the simulation

China Eastern selected more than 30 products – including skincare brands Whoo and Wet’n’Wild as well as designer brand De Yeen jewels – for the “Air To Home” simulation, based on the big data analysis of the purchasing preference of over 10 million passengers.

Kyle Cheung, deputy director of Transformation Office of China Eastern Airlines, said: “The traditional inflight retail (experience) is (driven) by airlines; passengers buy what airlines supply. However, the new inflight e-commerce retail is (driven) by passengers; airlines supply what passengers want; and the passengers decide to whether to shop online or offline and where to deliver.”

Pointing out that China’s inflight Internet “is obviously behind the US and other western developed countries”, the partners stated China Eastern’s intentions to give the service a new focus – in this case leveraging it to offer Internet-based retail experiences. Differentiated services, the partners say, “may (become) one of the key points of airlines’ layout”.

BlueFocus IFEC added in a statement that passenger’s consumption patterns have been migrating to online, driven by the prevalence of mobile use. It hence sees new technology as essential to creating a new inflight shopping experience, as well as product selection, purchasing, sales and logistics.

The opportunities, it states, are tremendous, as the number of China’s civil aviation passenger is expected to reach 670 million in 2017. Considered alongside the rapid development of China’s inflight Internet and the relaxation of in-flight Wi-Fi services policy, BlueFocus IFEC foresees that a new hundred-billion-yuan era of inflight consumption is imminent.

Founded in 2015, BlueFocus IFEC have independently developed the IFEC operating platform BAO and marketing platform BAM for airlines. It has launched various inflight Internet marketing strategies with several airlines.

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