Post COVID-19 operations: An inside look at Retail inMotion’s plans for the ‘new normal’

The world has changed a lot in the last few months and there are still many unknowns, including the answer to the question “What will the ‘new normal’ look like?”

Retail inMotion is successfully defining and navigating into the ‘new normal’ and adjusting the business strategy to meet the customers’ changing needs in the time of COVID-19 and beyond.

New realities that have emerged in the wake of the pandemic include the ‘new normal’ and, therefore, social distancing. While the former means different things to different people, the latter is crystal-clear. Social distancing will greatly influence the in-flight service offer and process and we believe that our technology and retail offering can put not only customers’ minds at ease, but also passengers’.

We are in constant and close exchange with our customers and, together with them, we are evaluating the impact of the pandemic on the industry and we’re actively planning for the post-COVID-19 future. The first step is to identify objectives and create tangible plans together with our customers and implement our own concept of the “new normal” in the shortest possible time.

What will the ‘new normal’ look like?

We see a few major trends that will greatly influence the in-flight service offer and process:

  1. Social distancing on board will limit the interaction between crew and passengers
  2. Increased hygiene standards and passengers’ trust in food consumption on board
  3. High cost-saving pressure on airlines and their current service offering

Understandably, many airlines will not allow their cabin crew to provide service to passengers as they did before the pandemic. It is also possible that interaction between passengers and cabin crew will be reduced to a minimum during flights. Regardless of the scenario, one thing is certain: in a post-coronavirus world, food and drinks will be served differently on board.

Retail inMotion has always been a pioneer in its segment, which is why we’re confident that we can support our customers during this unique time and beyond. So how do these trends influence our business and how can we foster the relationships with our customers to help them navigate the new normal?

First, we’re focusing our efforts toward finding feasible, cost-efficient, and quick-to-implement solutions to help airlines restart their activity from an operational, product, and service standpoint.

Second, we’re exploring how product and service procedures will look like in the future, given that social distancing and hygiene regulations will be a high priority.

Furthermore, there will be greater transparency with regard to product handling, origin, hygiene standards, etc. Although we’ve always offered a wide range of technology solutions that support the service procedures pre- and in-flight, they will become crucial as the world settles into the “new normal”.

How can Retail inMotion support airlines during the pandemic and beyond?

For us at Retail inMotion, the top priority in the post-COVID-19 world is to support airlines with a fast implementation of solutions that are already in place and develop new solutions such as Onboard Retail LITE, which allow us to implement an Onboard Retail concept within eight to ten weeks with minimum viable products and services.

Right now, we are focusing our efforts on reducing interactions on board as much as possible, with little or no effect on the passenger experience. In addition to an adjusted product portfolio to increase hygiene standards and efficiency even more, technology is key for a successful in-flight service program as we move forward.

Digital solutions such as cash-free payment, contactless technology, digital receipts, as well as digital menus, combined with a new service delivery, are only a few measures that we are taking to safeguard the passenger experience throughout the travel journey.

Our technology solutions such as pre-flight ordering (pre-order & pre-select) and in-flight ordering (Order2Seat) via the passengers’ devices ensure that both retail and complimentary catering are readily accessible so that airlines can continue to offer passengers numerous choices while reducing loading and waste, and increasing ancillary revenues.

More importantly, the technology at hand helps solve the issue of social distancing during the service process.

Stay tuned! More information about our onboard retail and technology solutions will follow soon!