TAV Technologies PreOrder Management Platform “Innovating retail, offering an online sales channel for efficient, secure shopping, addressing passenger needs”

Customer
TAV TECHNOLOGIES
Project manager on the customer side
Mehmet Kerem Öztürk
General Manager & CIO
IT Provider
TAV TECHNOLOGIES
Year of project completion
2023
Project timeline
November, 2022 - August, 2023
Project scope
36000 subscribers
Goals

Our objective was to develope a mobile-based platform offering an online shopping experience for passengers and an online sales channel for airport retailers.

The PreOder platform allows passengers to order products such as duty-free products, food & and beverages before they arrive at the airport or at the check in point and make payments via their smartphones. The system enables passengers to pick their orders at designated delivery points in the airport.

This initiative encompasses a range of goals aimed at enhancing the airport experience for both passengers and retailers. It focuses on helping passengers efficiently manage their time within airport premises, especially in light of the challenges posed by Covid-19. By aligning with online ordering trends, the project seeks to decrease human interaction at the airport, providing an alternative shopping experience for passengers who may feel uneasy in crowded settings post-pandemic.

Additionally, the project aims to generate new sales channels for airport retailers such as duty free shops, restaurants, cafes, who have faced revenue losses in the past two years. It creates a dedicated channel for the implementation of special offers and cross-sell campaigns, reducing waiting times at airport retailers and offering alternative methods for retailers to serve more customers, particularly in the face of capacity restrictions during the pandemic. This not only addresses labor shortages for retailers but also enhances customer loyalty, leading to increased traffic, higher income, and improved benefit margins for the retailers involved.


Project Results

The key benefits of using the apps for customers are;

  • Having a safer journey with less human contact
  • Avoiding waiting queues, gaining free time,
  • Visualizing all the choices they have without moving around,
  • Chance to benefit from promotions, deals and special offers,
  • Benefiting from digital experience,
  • Gathering orders at their delivery points such as gates, meeting points etc.
  • The improved user experience by recommendation menus,
  • Reserving tables from online services,
  • Validating the order and payment with a smart watch.

The key benefits for businesses are:

  • Drive Sales: Increase penetration rate and average order sales,
  • Eliminate lost purchases due to line avoidance,
  • Create brand awareness and showcases all product offers with an easy-to-navigate online outlet menu,
  • Enhance customer experience,
  • Build customer loyalty,
  • Collect customer data and form a database.
  • The app makes customers spend more and guarantees higher satisfaction levels.

The uniqueness of the project

Although online ordering is common with various alternatives outside of the airports, it was not seen as a necessary option at the airports until Covid-19. TAV Technologies’ PreOrder Management Platform is an innovative project in this way aiming to fill this gap by providing an online sales channel for retailers and creating an alternative shopping experience for passengers who would like to spend less time on physical shopping and for the passengers traveling with health security concerns. The project is also in line with the digitalization trend that is highly prominent in each sector. PreOrder Management Platform offers a totally digital workflow for both parties.

When developing the PreOrder Management Platform, innovation was one of the key driving factors.

Machine Learning is the main innovative tool to be used to develop the recommendation functionality on the platform. The classification model as a REST API has been built based on what it learns from historical sales. This API calculates the recommendation percentage of products that are most likely to be purchased or which are the most profitable in real-time and displays before or after purchases.

The main innovation was this new business model and the platform enabling the following business flow.

· Chance to benefit from promotions, deals and special offers,

· Avoiding waiting queues, gaining time,

· Visualizing all the choices they have without moving around,

· Personalizing and leveraging data,

· Benefiting from digital experience,

· Allowing passengers to take their order at their delivery points.

· Enabling safer travel in post-Covid times.

The TAV Technologies' PreOrder Management Platform offers several unique features and specifications that cater to the evolving needs of air travelers. Here are three of the most unique features and specifications of this product:

Comprehensive Online Shopping Experience: The PreOrder Management Platform provides a comprehensive online shopping experience for passengers, allowing them to order duty-free products, food, and beverages from airport retailers through a mobile application. Passengers can place orders and make payments from their mobile phones before arriving at the airport or during the check-in process. This feature enhances convenience and reduces the need for physical shopping. It is especially important for travelers looking to minimize contact and avoid crowded areas in the post-pandemic era.

AI-Powered Personalization and Recommendations: The platform incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) services, including a recommendation engine and AI-powered personalization functionality. The recommendation system uses machine learning algorithms to analyze flight history and historical sales data to suggest products to passengers, enhancing their shopping experience. This level of personalization not only makes the shopping process more efficient but also improves customer satisfaction and drives higher sales.

Smartwatch Integration for Real-Time Validation: The PreOrder Management Platform includes Smart Watch Applications that allow real-time and online assessment and validation of orders and payments using smartwatches. This innovation enables a seamless and efficient process for passengers to validate their orders and payments without the need for additional physical interactions or paper-based confirmations. It contributes to a safer and more contactless travel experience.

These unique features and specifications address the needs and preferences of both passengers and airport businesses. Passengers benefit from a safer, more convenient, and time-saving shopping experience, while businesses can drive sales, enhance customer loyalty, and collect valuable customer data.

Used software

Software:

Application Platform:
Our platform accommodates three distinct modules: a web-based webpage and CMS module, and an Android-based retailer app. These modules collectively offer a comprehensive range of functionalities, catering to different user needs and devices.

Programming Languages:
In our web-based project development, we've utilized CodeIgniter framework. The integration of NBO bank payment was achieved through Java programming, ensuring a seamless payment process. Additionally, for the Android-based retailer application, Java was the primary programming language employed, aligning with the Android platform's requirements.

Database & Cache System:
Our system stores user information and orders in MySQL, ensuring data integrity and reliability. To boost performance, we've integrated Redis for caching purposes, enhancing the system's efficiency and responsiveness.

Security Systems:
Our system prioritizes the security of user data by implementing multiple layers of defense. We employ F5 with WAF (Web Application Firewall) as a crucial component, offering advanced threat protection and shielding against potential vulnerabilities. Additionally, industry-standard security protocols, including robust encryption methods like AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), fortify our defense mechanisms. Secure Socket Layers (SSL) further ensure the encryption of data during transmission, preserving its confidentiality and integrity. Routine security assessments and stringent access controls reinforce our commitment to upholding the privacy and security of user data.

Equipment:
Order Validating Device: An Android tablet at the restaurant's front desk to streamline the validation of passenger orders and enable seamless pre-order processing.

Auxiliary Systems:
Payment Gateway: Our project involves the integration of two distinct credit card types offered by the National Bank of Oman: local and international cards. Approximately 85% of Oman's population utilizes the local card, primarily for domestic transactions within Oman. The remaining percentage relies on the international card for broader payment capabilities.

Communication Tools: We've successfully implemented a dual communication system to notify passengers about their orders. Our integration involves leveraging SMTP for email notifications and SMS sending via the MSG91 library. These tools enable us to relay important order updates to our passengers effectively.

Analytics and Reporting:
The development of analytics module allowing us to showcase real-time user information on the CMS dashboard. Additionally, the integration of Google Analytics has empowered us to track and analyze user behavior comprehensively, enhancing our understanding of user interactions. Moreover, for order information, our dashboard now displays vital insights. These include highlighting the top-selling products, identifying underperforming items, recognizing our most loyal customers, and providing order counts with comparisons to other date.

Difficulty of implementation

The main challenge during the project lifecycle was the design of the solution to enable a common platform that can be flexible enough to be customized for many airports and many products at the same time. On the other hand, the project is solving the time management challenge for the passengers by providing a gate order platform for their needs in the airport.


Project Description
Today’s customers love convenience, personalization and most importantly digital tools that will keep them safe post-Covid 19 during their air travel. Businesses adapt themselves to online commerce every day. Following this emerging trend, TAV Technologies has developed a smart order mobile app for business owners at airports. The application allows passengers to order and pay online, and receive their orders at designated delivery points. This project includes developing a mobile platform that enables passengers to select and order their duty-free products, food or beverages from airport retailer menus before they arrive at the airport or during the check-in process. Pre-order Management Platform is a mobile-based system that offers an online shopping experience for passengers and an online sales channel for airport retailers. Retailers deliver the item to related customers at designated points at the airports according to passenger preference.

This platform consists of different modules;

  • PreOrder Web & Mobile Application is developed for the passengers to make online orders and payments from their mobile phones.
  • Retailer Mobile Application provides retailers to scan the QR code that has displayed on the application to validate the order.
  • PreOrder Content Management System is a web-based application that is designed for the business owner. The owner can manage his/her own menu catalog and configure themes or plugins to extend functionality and make management of client applications.
  • Smart Watch Applications are developed for real-time and online assessment and validating orders and payments by using the smart watch-based framework.
  • Easy App Integration Software Development Kits have been developed such as ‘out-of-the-box’ without any complicated setup, coding, and letting business owners automate core business processes.
  • Artificial Intelligence(AI) Services
  • Customer Service AI Chatbot has been created to link up with table reservation software, allowing quick and easy bookings from websites or mobile applications. It also allows the passenger to browse through business owners’ menus and decide on what they’re having even before arriving at the airport.
  • Recommendation Engine has been developed with a recommendation system that would use a machine-learning algorithm to study the flight history of airports and historical sales of business owners.
  • AI-Powered Personalization functionality has been built to transform business brands by delivering personalized, seamless, and omnichannel guest experiences.

Project geography
This project has been initiated locally by the need of the BTA Food & Services company to provide a smart order platform for passengers and airport tenants. It is being used at Muscat International Airport for KFC, Cafe Nero and Tickerdaze.It is also initiated at Paris, Orly airport.


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