The almost universal incorporation of wireless network (Wi-Fi) and Bluetooth communications into cellphones presents a set of new tools with which to better understand our customers and their behaviour as they pass through our airports, travel on our air services or visit our destinations.
InterVISTAS is at the forefront of using these technologies to assist our clients in understanding customer behaviour while their customers visit their facilities or travel between facilities. Cell phones equipped with Bluetooth or Wi Fi have a unique identifier called a MAC address. If the either of these wireless functions are appropriately activated, scanners located strategically around a facility can record the MAC address and the signal strength from which it is then possible to track the movement of the device through the facility.
Sampling occurs around the clock and over an extended period. It is totally anonymous and non-invasive with no need to directly interact with the customer allowing them to proceed through the facility without altering their behavior in anyway. The real time nature of the information enables up to the minute display of processing times and volumes allowing the facility to take immediate action where required to address a bottleneck or potential source of customer dissatisfaction. The large volumes of data collected enable highly statistically significant analysis and identification of behaviour patterns that are difficult to observer or ascertain through other sampling techniques.
For example, a recent eight week study at a large North American airport demonstrated a high correlation between delays at check-in and pre-board screening and time spend shopping. Every one minute increase in check-in time resulted in a 4% lower probability of visiting the duty free store and two minutes less time per visit. Every one minute increase in pre-board screening time reduced the probability of visiting the store by 6% and reduced the store visit duration by four minutes. With this type of information, the airport was able to quantify the benefit of improved processing, justify the investment to improve the facility and measure the results of their initiatives.
Electronic Passenger Flow Analysis is quick to install, comparatively in expensive and can provide detailed insight into customer behaviour and the factors affecting revenue generation, customer satisfaction, or cost effectiveness.
- Improved Customer Satisfaction. With an accurate understanding of real time issues and overall behaviours, process and facilities can be enhanced to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction. Higher customer satisfaction means higher retail spend and increased visitation.
- Improved Retail Planning. Understand the customers, their frequency of travel, their pathways through the facility and the various dwell times enables optimization of the retail offering and promotions and provides uniquely valuable information to the retailers. Not only does it drive revenue, it facilitates favourable negotiations with the retailers themselves.
- Better Facilitate Management. With detailed information on passenger pathways, airports can take action to better use available space and avoid or delay costly facility expansions or upgrades.
- Improved Network Planning. From a carriers perspective, accurate measurement of hub efficiency and connect times can material affect how a network is designed with significant impact on both asset utilization and market share.