by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
MALAYSIA Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) aims to achieve at least 10% of total airport retail sales in the next several years through its new e-commerce platform, shopMYairports.
Known as the country’s first travel-retail online platform, shopMYairports will provide airport retailers with the opportunity to expand their market beyond a brick-and-mortar set-up at the airport and allow the wider public to access and purchase the products online.
“In the previous year, pre-Covid-19, we were doing about RM2.8 billion in sales at all our airports. Ten percent of the figure is roughly RM280 million in sales which we target to achieve in the next two to three years.
“Of course, the figure is subject to recovery of the passenger traffic itself,” group CEO Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh told reporters at the launch in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) yesterday.
In terms of passenger traffic movements at airports operated by MAHB, there have been signs of gradual recovery as seen in August (1.3 million), compared to June (430,000).
The International Air Transport Association has predicted that short-haul travel may only recover in 2023, whereas long-haul travel will not recover until 2024.
Mohd Shukrie said the online platform offers the ultimate shopping convenience for its guests, where they can shop for dutyfree and travel-exclusive items available at MAHB airports from the comfort of their homes.
Besides facilitating business recovery affected by Covid-19, the launch of the online platform also ushers in its Airports 4.0 initiative, he said.
“The wellbeing of our retailers remains a top priority, especially since many businesses are affected by the global pandemic. Therefore, we have expedited the launch of our e-commerce platform to not only assist our retailers in navigating through these challenging times but also gearing them to become future-ready.
“We embrace this digital transformation. We aim to strengthen Malaysia’s position as a regional hub by providing a seamless airport experience through the use of technology,” he said.
Mohd Shukrie noted that the global pandemic saw a dramatic shift in consumer behaviour as many relied on e-commerce platforms to shop, adding that the Malaysia Digital Economy Corp predicted that there will be 20% growth in e-commerce contribution to the digital economy this year.
Through shopMYairports, the public can browse through a diverse selection of products ranging from beauty, cosmetics, fashion, electronics, and food and beverage, offered by MAHB retailers including Eraman, Heinemann, Karyaneka, Nooodles, Retail One, Sama-Sama Hotel and Sprint-Cass.
He believes that the platform will provide retailers with a more long-term sustainable initiative in helping them recover from the effects of the pandemic.
“We have already extended vital assistance to our retail partners to help them face the challenges arising from Covid-19 such as deferring rental payments, extending credit terms to 120 days, extending the tenure of newly signed contracts and organising airportwide sales to help clear inventory. However, these assistance programmes are more short-term in nature,” he said.
In the pipeline, MAHB will introduce on-ground services such as “Click and Collect”, which enables travellers to shop online and collect their purchases at designated counters in the respective airports upon their arrival.
The airport operator is also currently working to provide concierge service which will enable purchases to be delivered directly to the gate or in-flight, direct to the shopper’s seat.
Mohd Shukrie also said once international travel is allowed, MAHB will be extending promotions on various digital platforms such as Alipay and leveraging on their 900 million active users.
During the event, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong announced that assistance will be provided by MAHB to airline companies through the NetworkReconnectingProgramme (NRP).
The NRP aims to facilitate the resumption of flight routes to Malaysia once borders are opened by providing additional benefits to airline partners such as a year-long discount on aeronautical charges based on passenger volume that airlines bring in.