Finnair has opened up a new in-flight shopping concept by introducing a Wi-Fi Makia shop on its A350 planes.
The new shopping experience offers passengers onboard A350 aircraft to buy their choice of Makia clothing through the airline’s Nordic Sky Wi-Fi portal.
Makia is a Helsinki-based clothing company founded in 2001 which specialises in classical, durable clothing for men and women. Its spring/summer 2016 collection was inspired by the history and surroundings of the Helsinki dock yard, where the brand is headquartered.
“MAKIA WAS BORN IN THE OLD DOCK WORKER DISTRICT OF HELSINKI, WHERE SHIPS ARE STILL BEING BUILT RIGHT NEXT TO OUR OFFICE. OUR CLOTHES ARE DESIGNED TO ENDURE THE ROUGH WEATHER OF THE NORTH, TO ACCOMPANY YOU FOR YEARS TO COME.”–Finnair Makia Shop
The Makia Spring/Summer 2016 collection is on-sale in-flight without any other transactional fees, and can be browsed and purchased on any handheld device or laptop connected to the airline’s Nordic Sky Wi-Fi portal.
“Our cooperation with Makia is an example of the future of onboard shopping. Our acclaimed Nordic Sky Wi-Fi portal offers a unique way to our customers to shop Makia clothes while on board our A350 aircraft. We’re happy to introduce a top Finnish brand to our international customers: Makia’s fresh and timeless clothing design suits well to Finnair brand identity,” says Jarkko Konttinen, Vice President, Product.
Lifestyle is Everything
Finnair’s recognition of the tie-in (sorry) between lifestyle and travel experience is the secret sauce which makes this announcement special. Airlines have great potential to become lifestyle brands, as industry experts have suggested. Once those self-realisation, personalised brand bonds are made, they cannot easily be broken.
“What airlines really need to understand is the extraordinary difference in returns on investment with these brand-building exercises. It’s worth it. The point for any company is to charge a premium versus a generic price,” Devin Liddell, Principle Brand Strategist at Teague, Seattle, told Skift.
“The best brands all command premium pricing. Commodity thinking results in commodity pricing. Every other category in the world gets this. Look at Apple, look at Starbucks. They command premium prices because they create brands that consumers resonate with on an ethos level. People will pay more for a brand that believes in something,” he said.
Sourcing Local for Destination Marketing Blend
The other advantage of this Finnair retail partnership–besides the obvious ancillary revenue benefits–is that it sources and recognises a local designer. This adds a destination marketing element to the mix, encouraging passengers to get to know Finnish style and take something home with them they can use every day.
Qantas is another airline which has recognised the importance of lifestyle branding through everyday fashion and sourcing local. The airline’s strategy is to put emphasis on lifestyle as CEO Alan Joyce highlighted at the CAPA World Aviation Summit last year, as APEX reported.
“Airlines are some of the most trusted brands in the world. Qantas is also an iconic Australian brand. People trust us; with us flying them, with serving them food every day and have done for a long time. That trust is an area that you can extend into adjacent businesses,” he said.
“Make is excited to showcase and offer its new collection to existing and new world traveler in a Nordic design environment equal to its values,” says Joni Malmi, founder of Makia.
He added: “Finnair is a perfect partner for Makia with its forward-thinking mentality towards future air travel and its possibilities. We are always looking for new and creative ways to improve our customer experience. With this exciting partnership with Finnair, we are able to introduce our clothes to a whole new group of customers in a relaxed hassle free environment, onboard the new Finnair A350’s.”
On-Board On-Line Shopping Experience
By launching the Makia store on its Nordic Sky Wi-Fi portal, Finnair emulates an at-home online shopping experience which is bound to be addictive. (Again, shopaholics beware.)
But Finnair is also taking onboard a number of Wi-Fi enabled retailing opportunities, which are developing industry trends.
- Passengers can also access finnair.com news services and travel services like destination information, customer care and pre-order shopping.
- Passengers can use Nordic Sky to order a taxi via Cabforce Taxi Service to the destination airport and book destination services (e.g. trips, dinner cruises, concert tickets) with Viator Destination Services.
All passengers onboard A350 flights can use the Nordic Sky Wi-Fi portal with their own devices free of charge, regardless of the travel class of their ticket.
“Digital transformation for us is going through the whole customer journey, making sure that we can actually stay in touch with the customer from the dreaming phase all the way to the end of the journey..utilising technology to our advantage to actually service customers better and generate more revenue.” Juha Järvinen, CCO, Finnair, said at the World Low-Cost Airline Conference in London last year, as APEX reported.
“We will continue to develop the Nordic Sky portal and introduce new services to enhance the customer experience on board, says Jarkko Konttinen.
Finnair also sourced local by developing its Wi-Fi portal in cooperation with Finnish tech company Reaktor.
Finnair offers Wi-Fi on its three A350 aircraft flying now and will also install WiFi to the rest of its Airbus fleet starting in 2016.