Website of the week: China Airlines – 12/07/06

China Airlines e-shopping pages take their lead from the company’s main corporate site: alluring blue skies and wisps of cloud provide a welcoming, colourful backdrop to the information

Website of the Week: China Airlines

Founded in 1959, China Airlines is Taiwan’s largest airline. It serves 60 cities in 23 countries from its base in the capital Taipei.


China Airlines e-shopping pages take their lead from the company’s main corporate site: alluring blue skies and wisps of cloud provide a welcoming, colourful backdrop to the information. There’s also the promise of luxury in the Dynasty Sky Boutique inflight brochure, neatly reflected in an eye-catching image as you enter the shopping site. But rather than taking advantage of the classy welcome to press ahead with product promotion or encouragement to purchase, e-shopping presents an all too forbidding face to the casual visitor. Requests for reference numbers allied to a list of pre-order rules and regulations dominate the e-shopping home page, and could deter potential pre-order customers.

Content and usability

Like many other airlines, China Airlines allows customers access to its pre-order pages through the Cabin Services section. Unlike many other carriers China Airlines carries its overall look through to its shopping pages, rather than distinguishing the shopping offer from the rest of the service. This is a welcome move, and reinforces the image of shopping as a valuable part of the onboard programme. E-shopping is part of China Airlines’ move to become more web-friendly, and the section is grouped with e-check-in and e-menu, the pre-order restaurant service for Business and First Class passengers.

The message on the e-shopping entry page gets straight to the point. Unfortunately that message doesn’t include the valuable discounts available or the promotions on offer by pre-ordering. Instead it boldly states that e-shopping is ONLY for passengers with confirmed reservations and immediately requests a reference number and log-in details. A list of bullet points details the rest of the rules governing online shopping.

Only further down the page does it feature what could be an excellent sales pitch, if it was more clearly presented: passengers who pre-order receive a 5% discount, plus there are even more savings for Dynasty frequent flyer members. The page also contains an enticing Promotion button, but this involves the latest corporate fare discounts and isn’t for shoppers. In fact, there are no items on special promotion at all in the pre-order programme.

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To celebrate the launch of our new Travel Retail Web-Wide Index, each week we put the spotlight on one of the growing array of dedicated travel retail websites or web sections. Click here or on the image to read the index.

Yet despite the forbidding tone of the home page, there is still plenty for the casual visitor to see. There is a button providing access to the duty free shop, which features the hottest products from the onboard brochure via the web.

There are seven sections reflecting the purchasing habits of the Taiwanese: 3C Electro, Fragrances, Cosmetics, Exclusives, Liquor, Gifts and Living. Bright visuals enhance the product descriptions of each item, while the presentation of price points offers another neat device. Although prices are initially listed in US Dollars, every product is available to purchase in one of several other currencies: Taiwanese Dollars, Japanese Yen, Euros, Hong Kong Dollars and Canadian Dollars being the others.

What we like:
Online discounts
Good product showcasing

What we think needs improving/adding:
Better advertising of the web discounts on offer
Product promotions
A more welcoming feel to the e-shopping home page

Visit China Airlines.

COMING SOON: The Moodie Report Travel Retail Worldwide Web Awards.

Sponsored by P&G Prestige Products

Which websites offer the best service to consumers? Which are most user-friendly? Which are the most stylish? And which, crucially, offer the greatest incentive to shop?

Every year we will judge, through a combination of industry polling, consumer opinion and specialist judges, who is doing most to wow travellers on the web. International and regional awards.

The main award – Travel Retail Website of the Year – will be unveiled at this year’s ‘Oscars’ of the industry: the Frontier Awards in Cannes. More details coming soon.


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