Hi Duty Free is on a mission to get frequent flyers into duty free shops with new app

The Moodie Davitt Report presents the latest edition of regular column The Digital Conversation, in association with Shiseido Travel Retail. In this report we look at an airport app which allows frequent flyers to complete photo missions in exchange for air miles and retail offers.
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INTERNATIONAL. Hi Duty Free recently launched an airport app that allows frequent flyers to earn air miles at the airport while benefitting from exclusive retail offers.

The ‘Instamiles’ app presents users with a number of photo missions, which require them to take specific pictures in an airport shopping area. These could be of products, prices, promotional offers or events, Hi Duty Free said. When a mission is completed the app user receives exclusive store offers and discounts.

Once uploaded to the app Hi Duty Free then checks the pictures and validates the mission within 72 hours. The air mile rewards are then added directly to the user’s loyalty programme, of which over 110 across the SkyTeam, Star Alliance and Oneworld airline alliances are currently supported.

The photo missions are promoted by brands, travel retailers and airports, who can purchase an annual plan to receive credits of missions. Hi Duty Free then receives commissions on sales generated at the end of the missions.

Instamiles is available on the App Store and Google Play and features 100 different missions

The app aims to get frequent flyers to discover new products, specific events, or promotional offers, Hi Duty Free said.

A refund system is embedded into Instamiles and managed by Mangopay and Alipay. Users can also track their air miles balance using the app.

Instamiles was launched in April 2016 and can currently be used in 20 international airports across the USA, China and Europe. It is available on the App Store and Google Play and features 100 different missions.

Most of the user base comes from Hi Duty Free’s online travel retail marketplace, where shoppers can request that frequent flyers purchase duty free items for them. The shoppers do not have to travel to gain access to duty free products but can still benefit from discounts, while the frequent flyers use their boarding pass to buy the items at the airport in exchange for air miles credited in their loyalty programmes.

“The result of this innovative business model is that we have created a new market share for travel retailers – ‘at home duty free shoppers’,” said Hi Duty Free Marketing & Communication Manager Lauriane Robillard. “And there’s a growing global community of frequent flyers that is very active and engaged to earn air miles.”

The customer profile of Instamiles users
Source: Hi Duty Free

Naturally, some flights do not match with any shopping requests, so Instamiles was created as an alternative way for frequent flyers to gain air miles.

“Our ambition was to optimise even further traffic in duty free stores and make travel journeys more pleasant and advantageous,” explained Robillard. “We came up with the idea of developing the Instamiles app and creating a turnkey solution that offers the opportunity for brands, travel retailers and airports to push exclusive and spontaneous offers at the end of missions.

“The photo missions are also a good way to get more information on duty free products for our at home duty free shoppers such as tax free prices or availability of products.”

The Instamiles app will be updated in the future, Robillard said, with plans already in place to integrate shopping missions and a payment solution with an e-wallet in the app.

An overview of Hi Duty Free’s community of ‘at-home shoppers’ and frequent flyers
Source: Hi Duty Free
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