Through embracing digital technologies, airports have been actively exploring the tools to further shape the delivery of their overall customer experience. With customer experience remaining the primary focus, airports are capitalizing on the opportunities to provide efficient messaging, real time information, personalised services and self-service. Airports are keen to discover what’s next, as the digital revolution takes flight.
Airports maintain a few key priorities when managing their customer journey. From the car park to the tarmac, each step is carefully planned out and managed. Being proactive in reducing stress, keeping people informed, entertained and engaged can result in an overall positive experience, encourage customer loyalty and assist in easing stresses often associated with travelling.
Between queuing for check-in, baggage, customs and gate boarding, most time spent at the airport is spent waiting. Digital signage is known to help reduce perceived wait time by up to 35 percent so implementing screens throughout waiting areas is key. Streaming news, sport, videos and weather updates throughout an airport can entertain passengers whilst waiting for their flight or assist in distracting them in the case of delays.
Further building on the streaming of content – airports are beginning to explore the implementation of screens as digital art works, creating environments that help escape the airport confines. Most recently, Changi has integrated LED displays, one measuring 70 by 5-meters with 60-millimeter pixel pitch and the other 10 by 6-meters and 4-millimeter pixel pitch. The impressive displays are integrated into the centralised security screening area and the departure transit zone for maximum exposure and to help integrate entertainment through waiting times. The artwork has been carefully developed to include picturesque scenes, animation and flowing geometric shapes on a 24/7 cycle.
Navigating through an airport can be confusing, frustrating and stressful. Digital signage can provide unambiguous, easy-to-find guidance to visitors who may be scrambling to make a flight or trying to locate a cup of coffee. Not only is this helpful in assisting passengers to reach their destination in a timely manner, but is also valuable for airport staff and general operations. Wayfinding signage remains a priority in managing flow and efficiencies throughout the airport, with digital providing greater scope to elevate these communications through different platforms.
Providing an interactive kiosk with a detailed map and step-by-step directions will allow your visitors get to their destination more efficiently whilst enabling employees to do their jobs more effectively. An interesting example of airports embracing digital is Brisbane Airport Corporation’s recent interactive kiosk installation — the Taxi Fare Calculator. The kiosk provides an easy platform for visitors to find out how long and how much it will cost to get to their destination.
Security is also a primary priority for airport authorities. Digital signage can act as an emergency alert system, raising awareness of urgent situations throughout the airport. Through a centrally controlled system, critical messages can be pushed out immediately to all digital screens improving the ability to respond to any situation and communicate to customers accordingly.
Airports can keep content feeds fresh with brand-owned and user-generated content. Engagement can be achieved through photo sharing, hashtags, brand activations and exploring possibilities with VR. There’s no denying the power of social media, with over 3 billion active users across various platforms worldwide. Leveraging off the classic departure selfie, airports can create a physical Instagram moment spot, which will not only provide free marketing, but increase customer engagement. If done well, leveraging social media can assist in creating trust, engaging visitors and generating traffic to airport or advertiser’s social networks.
Increasing visual communications within an airport can only have a positive impact on operations and passenger flows through the terminal. Digital communications at airports that enhance the level of visibility of the airport in terms of the services available can only be a major source of competitive advantage. With this in mind, airports should consider deploying a variety of digital signage throughout terminals to manage passenger expectations and enhance the visitors experience.
The airport environment also offers an advertising opportunity like no other. With high passenger traffic, high dwell time and heightened emotion, 42 percent of passengers are more likely to make an impulse purchase. Increase revenue of the airports tax-free shops, restaurants and bars by displaying pre-flight and gate-side promotional offers.
As featured on DigitalSignageToday.