Heinemann Duty Free and airport operator Fraport have partnered to introduce a QR code wall at Frankfurt airport, allowing travellers passing Schengen gate B5–9 to purchase duty-free goods by pointing their smartphones at a billboard featuring virtual products.
According to the two companies, an airport is an ideal testing ground for the new technology as the density of smartphones is high and “travellers have time to spare before boarding, which can be utilised to positive effect”. The service is expected to offer an opportunity for spontaneous purchases until shortly before departure.
The giant virtual shopping billboard displays about 60 items including fragrances, cosmetic, spirits and confectionery products, divided into three categories: bestsellers, new and special offers, the latter changing monthly and offering a 30% discount on duty-free prices. 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 can get more information about the goods on offer, place selected items into a virtual shopping basket and place orders for those goods. Orders are delivered to a pick-up point right next to the QR code wall in less than 15 minutes, upon which card payments are taken. In the event that a passenger boards their flight before the pre-ordered goods are collected, their order will be cancelled automatically.
Gebr Heinemann head of central marketing Markus Ettlin said: “The trial period that we’ve organised in partnership with airport operator Fraport is limited to six months in the first instance. 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.”
Fraport head of retail Ute Pohl added: “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. 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 travellers this totally new shopping experience.”