Moodie Davitt Report: Long interview with FLIO founder Stephan Uhrenbacher

Flio aims to be the app for airports worldwide. How realistic is that aim given the desire of many airports to have their own app, and a proliferation of digital initiatives in the aviation sector? Wholly realistic, says Flio CEO Stephan Uhrenbacher, who talked to Martin Moodie about the remarkable progress the app has made in just  under three years. Edited by Kevin Rozario.
Read the full interview here:
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Airports and e-commerce: Does this make sense?


As I write this at the end of 2017, e-commerce is 9% of total retail. Few forecasters dare say where this growth may end. Retailers and commercial property developers have seen their value plunge. Everyone is scared of Amazon.

Airports replicating e-commerce?

With that, airports are now starting to invest in e-commerce. In similar moves to some shopping malls, large airports are replicating their physical offers into an online world.  If airports were right, then the large shopping malls in the world would now all be very successfully competing with Amazon. They don't.

Airports will become the single place where people will do physical shopping

The unique factor of airport shopping is that a consumer has time to spend at airports. And with air travel still being limited to the more wealthy part of the global population, people will continue to shop at airports. Yes, people do compare prices with online offers. So an airport will increasingly have to be competitive. 

But the good thing: Even with a much higher share of online shopping (think home delivery of groceries): airports could become the single place where people will do physical shopping. So for any goods that you may want to taste, sample, try on, or just get your hands on, an airport will continue to be able to offer a great shopping environment.

This unique competitive advantage (other than being able to offer favourable pricing due to tax regulations) goes away if airports & duty-free retailers are forcing themselves online. Not only does the entire value chain of duty-free not have any competitive advantage over Amazon:  They may shop online while they wait - but why would they go to your offering and not to Amazon? Amazon already knows their preferences, payment methods and has an unlimited choice. The carefully curated airport mall - now replicated online - does not.

The right digital strategy is one that gets people into your shops.

Instead of investing in replicating where they can't win, airports, retailers and travel brands should simply focus on the passenger. What can we do to reduce stress for the passenger? How can we tell her about that great offer we want near Gate B8? This will require some huge effort which is bigger than individual airports. No matter whether you focus on a new CRM, faster security of better POS Systems, or work with FLIO: The goal is to get from their digital device into your shops, not to try and outsmart Amazon at their very own game.




FLIO Nominated for ‘Hottest Travel App’ Category at The Europas 2017 Awards


Voting is open to public and you can still vote for FLIO

We are very excited and proud to announce FLIO’s nomination for the ‘Hottest Travel App’ category of the upcoming The Europas 2017 Awards. The awards ceremony will take place on 13 June in London, where the winners will be announced.

The winners are determined by a public voting system where anybody can vote once for a single nominee in each of the categories. You can follow this link to vote for FLIO under the category ‘Hottest Travel App’ and help us win the award!

The global airport app FLIO will complement Nice Côte d’Azur’s own mobile solution to help the airport reach the international travellers

The global airport app FLIO will complement Nice Côte d’Azur’s own mobile solution to help the airport reach the international travellers

Offering an extensive range of mobile app functions for airports around the world, FLIO already established itself as the global airport app. The app addresses itself to the frequent travellers and thus acquired a large international user base that is even attracting airports with own app.