Imagine people standing in front of a billboard designed to resemble shelves in a store, pointing their smartphones and clicking as if taking photos of their favorite products. As they walk away, they have the satisfaction of knowing they’ve just saved themselves a trip to the supermarket: the goods they just selected will be delivered to a convenient collection point, or straight to their home address. This scenario is routinely played out across Asia – and will soon be a common sight at Frankfurt Airport too. “QR code shopping” is a trend with the potential to transform the face of retail.
AIRPORT SHOPPING: NOW EVEN MORE CONVENIENT
In close cooperation with Fraport AG, Heinemann Duty Free has unveiled a “QR code wall” at Frankfurt Airport – and the new service confirms the company as a pioneer of the Duty Free market. From now on, passengers passing Schengen gate B5-9 will be able to buy Duty Free goods simply by pointing their smartphones at a billboard featuring virtual products. An airport is an ideal testing ground for the new technology: not only is the density of smartphones particularly high, but travelers have time to spare before boarding which can be utilized to positive effect. In providing the new service, Heinemann Duty Free and Fraport are offering passengers the chance to make spontaneous purchases until shortly before departure.
Located right next to the gates, the giant virtual shopping billboard displays some 60 different perfumes, cosmetic items, spirits, and confectionery products. Shoppers make their choices from three categories: Bestsellers, New and Special Offers. Special Offer products (which change each month, just as they do in the shops) are sold at a 30% discount on Duty Free prices, which themselves represent good value. Alongside each product is a QR code which travellers can scan using the Heinemann Express Shopping app or a standard QR code reader. By scanning the codes, shoppers get more information about the goods on offer, place selected items into a virtual shopping basket and place orders for those goods. All it takes is a few clicks – and the products ordered are conveniently delivered to a pick-up point right next to the QR code wall in less than 15 minutes. Only when the customer actually picks up their purchases do they make a simple card payment. In the event that a passenger boards their flight before the pre-ordered goods are collected, their order will be cancelled automatically.
“The trial period that we’ve organized in partnership with airport operator Fraport is limited to six months in the first instance,” explains Markus Ettlin, Head of Central Marketing at Gebr. Heinemann. “The main point of it is not to make a lot of sales. We are more interested in finding out how the new virtual shop is used and which nationalities it appeals to most. At the same time, of course, we want to make shopping even easier and more relaxing for our customers.”
“We are delighted, that Gebr. Heinemann and Fraport are working closely together to enhance Duty Free shopping by raising customer satisfaction levels as high as possible together with us,” continues Ute Pohl, Head of Retail at Fraport AG. “We are excited to see how passengers will respond to the new virtual shopping range. And we’re proud to be the first German airport to offer travelers this totally new shopping experience.”
Travelers can also choose from the full range of Duty Free products in the big Heinemann Duty Free shops, which are located in all terminal areas of Frankfurt Airport. During 2012, Gebr. Heinemann invested a total of 13 million euros in four new shops for the A-Plus terminal expansion pier. The two largest Heinemann Duty Free stores in this zone – both of which span more than 2,000 m² – will set new standards in the Schengen and non-Schengen zones; another two 500 m² duty free shops have also opened along with a Hermes fashion outlet. The company now operates 34 shops in Frankfurt as well as a large warehouse in Kelsterbach and employs 880 staff.
FULL SERVICE AND LEADING BRANDS AT LOW PRICES FOR TRAVELERS
The TUV Rheinland technical inspection authority, whose independent experts regularly review prices, has verified that Heinemann Duty Free customers do save cash on their purchases. They concluded that 90 percent of featured products at Heinemann promise shoppers savings of up to 30 percent on both High Street and online prices. Anyone in possession of a valid boarding pass can shop at Heinemann Duty Free. Regardless of destination – whether flying domestically to another city in Germany, to a European airport or long-haul to a distant continent – every customer pays the same price. The only exception to this rule is tobacco goods, owing to the mandatory duty imposed on these products. Before leaving home, passengers can pre-order goods online by visiting heinemann-dutyfree.com; their purchases will be readied for pick-up and payment in passing at the shop service counter.