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Auckland Airport innovation brings international terminal shopping to domestic travellers

While the fun and excitement of international travel might be on hold for now, Auckland Airport is innovating to bring some of the shopping experience of the international terminal to domestic travellers.

From today, people flying out of Auckland Airport’s domestic terminal will be able to start accessing top selling premium brands and products from international terminal retailers via the airport’s click-and-collect marketplace, The Mall.

“For New Zealanders, shopping, whether it’s purchasing a new perfume or stocking up the liquor cabinet, is strongly associated with the excitement of travel,” says general manager technology and marketing at Auckland Airport Jonathan Good.

“The impact of COVID-19 on Auckland Airport and our retail partners has been significant, but we are moving fast to support new ways for our retailers to do business and connect with their customers.”

For the first time, domestic travellers will be able to access The Mall’s online shopping platform, which gives travellers the opportunity to dip into the range of premium, sought-after or ‘airport exclusive’ products normally only available to international travellers when flying within New Zealand. Tax and duty will be payable on purchases.

“We work in close partnership with our terminal retailers, and this investment in The Mall was about providing the digital infrastructure to support their success,” said Jonathan.

“Even though this was a move into a different market the response from our retailers has been great. They straight away understood this was an opportunity to stay connected with their customers while there is limited international travel.”

Launched in 2018, The Mall has been a success story for Auckland Airport – an online marketplace where travellers could purchase from a range of more than 5000 products from retail stores based at the airport through a click-and-collect service. Demand for the service has increased rapidly, with orders growing 55 per cent year-on-year.

Underpinned by omnichannel marketplace technology from AOE GmbH, a digital innovator in the travel retail industry, it’s an innovation that puts Auckland Airport at the forefront of airport retail with The Mall recently recognised by international industry awards.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 Auckland Airport’s head of Omnichannel Jayne Wear has focused on reimagining The Mall offer in a new travel environment – one in which full international travel may take some time to recover.

“Before the outbreak COVID-19, The Mall had been growing strongly and faster than all our projections and the customer feedback scores we were getting suggested it was really resonating with travellers. We knew that 80% of airport purchases are planned in advance of travel, so the ability to browse and select online made The Mall appealing to travellers,” she says.

“There’s no doubt the pandemic has been an extremely challenging time for the airport retail industry but in the wider retail space COVID-related lockdowns have turbo-charged the shift to online shopping. We needed to harness that trend to enhance our Airport experience for domestic travellers and benefit our airport retailers.”

At launch there will be product ranges across the beauty and fashion categories from Saben, NZH Health & Beauty, Walker & Hall, and Emirates Team New Zealand. In the coming weeks more retailers will be coming on board, including luxury brands Michael Kors and Tumi.

“We’ve chosen to launch with a group of our retailers who are not only great local businesses but are experienced with operating on The Mall’s international travel option. We’ll work to quickly scale up the range of products available on the platform over the next couple of weeks,” she says.

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