• Ker Zheng

Amsterdam Airport, Smart Retail, and WeChat Mini-Programs

Updated: Sep 12, 2019

The Schiphol airport in Amsterdam is using WeChat to create a smart retail experience for its Chinese customers.

Similar to DFS Group's e-commerce mini-program in Hong Kong and King Power's e-commerce mini-program in Thailand, the mini-program enables tourists to browse and reserve duty-free items in advance, and pick them up once they arrive at the airport.

The mini-program also enables tourists to check flight times, flight transfer information, flight reminders, and coupons for those who spend a certain amount.

Schiphol Mini-Program Interface

The mini-program even provides a Chinese map that shows where the different categories are.

Schiphol Airport Map

Here's how it works:

  1. Customers pull down on the screen to access the mini-program

  2. Customers click on the duty-fee shopping tab

  3. Customers browse items, add them to shopping cart

  4. Customers then input their flight information

  5. Customers pay through WeChat Pay (cross-border RMB remittance)

  6. Customers pick up items at the airport.

How to Buy on Schiphol Mini-Program

Why Consumers Like Travel Retail Mini-Programs

Well, travel retail provides a very small window of opportunity in which travelers can make purchases.

They're often rushed and tired when making purchasing decisions at these locations because they've just spent the past few days traveling and walking around.

Having a mini-program to point out where all the right places are and which brands have shops is very helpful and reduces stress.

It also lets travelers do research beforehand and check which items are in stock or sold out.

Lastly, the cross-border payments/remittances that are enabled can be very handy.

It reduces the need to exchange RMB and lets tourists avoid high conversion and ATM withdrawal fees.

Why Merchants Like Mini-Programs

For the merchant, the mini-program helps them plan for inventory before customers arrive at the airport, convert offline traffic into WeChat followers, and provide insights on which items are popular amongst Chinese tourists. They can then use this data to provide integrated loyalty programs.

In short, it improves the customer experience for Chinese travelers and allow merchants to show that they're catering specifically to Chinese consumers. This goes a long way in gaining their trust and loyalty.

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Agency partnership: ker.zheng@azoyagroup.com

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