Website of the week: Turkish Airlines – 05/07/06

The carrier’s pre-order pages are brash, fun and among the most colourful websites we have reviewed yet
The pre-order pages are linked to Turkish Airlines’ company site through the Passenger Services section
The “Find Products” section could be more reliable
The products on offer are split into five sections. Each features ten of the most popular items by category

Website of the week: Turkish Airlines

Founded in 1993, Turkish Airlines is one of the world’s youngest, but fastest-growing, international carriers. Passenger numbers rose +18% to over 14 million in 2005. With 23 new routes opening in 2006 and a big investment in its fleet, Turkish Airlines has underlined its ambition to make Istanbul a significant gateway between East and West.


In a dramatic contrast to the sombre, corporate look of the main Turkish Airlines website, the carrier’s pre-order pages are brash, fun and among the most colourful websites we have yet reviewed. How many shopping websites find room for images of sunshine and flowers on their home pages? Well, Turkish Airlines does, and it adds a feelgood factor to the often mundane task of shopping online.

Content and usability

Linked to Turkish Airlines’ company site through the Passenger Services section, the duty free home page gives no hint of the colour and vibrancy that the pre-order site has to offer. Promising little more than a broad invitation to buy onboard, the duty free introduction is an extension of the corporate website, clear and professionally done, but with no hint of the fun and excitement that the shopping offer contains.

That all changes when you click through to the pre-order department. The dominant colour – a brash, fun pink – makes the page hum with energy. The pre-order offer is available in Turkish and English language versions, with instructions that are clear and well signposted.

After the brief introduction follows a strong inducement to buy: the chief selling points of the pre-order system, it says, are a 10% discount on goods bought online; the facility to buy on return as well as departure (useful for the uninitiated airline customer) plus a key ‘membership’ benefit of the service, the delivery of the inflight brochure direct to customers’ homes for future use. Simple messages, but they are made clearly and effectively.

Also on the Home Page of the shopping site there is an image of the latest inflight brochure (which could link to a PDF version of the main onboard offer, but doesn’t) and special onboard promotions flash up regularly to grab prospective customers’ attention.

The mechanics of purchasing online are covered in three related links on the Home Page. The Info link details the purchasing process, from registration and payment to follow-up and delivery, which occurs onboard the flight. Purchases can only be made on flights to and from Istanbul, but could yet be made available to Turkish Airlines passengers on other routes and at the carriers’ ground stores.

The My Orders section allows you to follow your orders right through to payment, and also to change orders before you catch your flight. The My Basket section collates all your orders, from payment at the end of the online shopping trip.

The products on offer are split into five sections: Perfumes & Cosmetics, Spirits, Cigarettes & Cigars, Accessories and Chocolates & Toys.

Each features ten of the most popular items by category, a selection of what is available in the main inflight brochure. Each item is accompanied by a brief description and the savings (in Euros) available by buying duty free and online.

A customer service telephone number and e-mail address is also prominently displayed on the pre-order Home Page.

What we like:
The colourful, fun aspect of the site
The online discount for web shoppers
The limited number of pages requiring navigation

What we think needs improving/adding:
The ‘Find Products’ section needs to be more reliable
Better promotion of what’s available when shopping onboard, for site visitors who prefer to shop when they fly

Visit Turkish 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. There will be both 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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