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B2B eCommerce

Frankfurt Airport Uses OroPlatform to Revolutionize the Travel Experience

November 22, 2016 | Oro Team

The Frankfurt Airport sees over 60 million people a year pass through its gates, making it the busiest airport in Germany and the fourth busiest in all of Europe. In addition to its transportation services, the airport also maintains a hundreds of different stores and shopping facilities on its grounds, including both national and international retailers, supermarkets, and a number of restaurants. All of that represents a tremendous commerce opportunity.

Because these stores pay a share of their revenue rather than a fixed rent, the Frankfurt Airport wanted to increase its retail sales. Despite its size, though, retail space was at a premium, which is why the airport turned to our partner, AOE. Although its stores enjoy a huge volume of traffic, nearly all of them relied on customers simply noticing them as they walked past. They did not have a way to manage their commerce experience and had no holistic marketing strategies in place to promote products. For instance, travelers could not shop ahead of time, place an order for delivery, or schedule purchased items to be picked up at stores.

The Frankfurt Airport sought to change this in order to increase existing store sales. They not only wanted to give travelers the ability to browse and shop online, but also wanted to build a unified travel experience that would display which amenities, products, and stores would be available to them when they arrive. On top of that, they also wanted to link this information together so that travelers could plan out a shopping experience to coincide with their trip, and so that the airport and its stores could provide relevant information and offers to travelers at the right time. In short, their goal was to create a cohesive customer experience that increased the visibility of their stores, as well as their sales, by using an omni-channel view.

The Challenges

However, the Frankfurt Airport contains dozens of different stores that each maintain separate product catalogs, ordering systems, ERP platforms, branding, and so forth. Before they could create a unified shopping experience for their travelers, they needed a way to connect together all of these various businesses that would be able to accommodate their individual structures, but also let them manage them from within a single portal.

In addition, this portal would have to include a method for each business to access only their particular online store. This way, they could organize and handle their online customer data in order to create marketing campaigns, refine their product line, and more. What’s more, this system had to be flexible enough to integrate and communicate with multiple other aspects of the airport’s omnichannel experience, such as traveler flight information and loyalty programs.

The Solution

Taking advantage of its flexible open-source structure, the Frankfurt Airport used the CRM capabilities found within the OroPlatform to accomplish their project. The OroPlatform, which is foundation for both OroCRM and OroCommerce products, offered developers a way to connect into dozens of different retail ERP platforms used by the airport’s various stores in order to funnel all retail information into a single, centralized point. This gave them the ability to collectively manage their shops’ commerce activities, both on and offline, in order to better market to the many travelers and customers who pass through. It also let them create new omnichannel retail opportunities that would significantly expand the window for shopping and ultimately increase revenue throughout the airport.

Traditionally, the airport industry had been a compilation of various shops and services whose only unifying factor was that they all were located on the airport’s grounds. In every other way, from marketing to ordering, the customer experience remained fragmented at best. Using OroPlatform, however, the Frankfurt Airport was able to take their collection of businesses and unify them under a single umbrella. This not only allowed them to make strategic sales and marketing decisions that they couldn’t before, but also created a more cohesive, useful, and profitable service for all involved.

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