How can WiFi proximity marketing be used to create a new user experience in airports?

With the transiting of 13 million+ passengers in 2017 through the City of Nice airport (Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur Group), this is now the second largest airport in France. Nowadays, it has become vital for any airport to adapt to the behavior of its passengers and provide them with high-performance Wi-Fi connectivity: “An airport without Wi-Fi simply doesn’t make sense”, says Alain Simard, Data Management Manager, Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur Group. With a perpetual flow of passengers, airports are more than just transit venues. They are considered as places brimming with life that share issues very similar to those of a shopping mall, for example. To deliver more than the expected basic connectivity, Wi-Fi technology must be supplemented by focused services.



Changing customer needs

Connectivity is essential for a generation that spends an average of 5 hours a day poring over screens  outside the professional life. “The behaviors of our passengers today, similar to those of everyone else actually, require us to offer services that go beyond wireless connectivity”, says Alain Simard. High-performance Wi-Fi becomes essential in coming up to meeting the expectations of passengers, but connectivity alone is not enough: passengers must be supported and provided with additional services that will facilitate their journey and ensure a comfortable on-site experience.


A partnership over the long run

To achieve this goal, the group, 6 years ago, called upon the expertise of UCOPIA, the European leader in Wi-Fi connectivity and personalized proximity marketing. UCOPIA, therefore, deployed a high-performance connectivity solution that helps users get broadband online access in a fast and uncomplicated way. Through a branded captive portal available in 4 languages (French, English, Russian and Chinese), a user can connect to the Wi-Fi network for free.

UCOPIA also assisted the Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur Group in the collection and processing of data, as well as the seamless integration of Wi-Fi proximity marketing into the airport ecosystem. The goal is to be able to generate value from collected data via the Wi-Fi access portal. To do so, a high-performance connection is required while the user experience of those connecting to the active portal must be personalized and appealing.

Wi-Fi, as a powerful communication channel with users

When connecting to the captive portal, passengers fill in their flight data and receive, in return, practical information about it. But the airport is not only a place of transit, it is a bustling venue with shops and restaurants, pretty similar to what can be experienced in a shopping mall. Customer experience, therefore, becomes key, and must be enhanced. Wi-Fi turns into a digital marketing engine that allows brands to deploy a communication channel with users. Passengers should be offered the services they expect in terms of travel, comfort and on-site experience, and this includes, for example, the capacity to unclog queues by identifying the specific areas where passenger density is high at any given moment.

“Tomorrow’s airport will have the ability to interact with its passengers through Wi-Fi, and deliver services to streamline their customers’ journey and simplify their transit through the airport”, says Simard.


Security at the heart of data processing

The concept of security focuses on the protection and the use of personal data. As Simard points out: “Our promotional actions do not target those who have declined to receive information from us”. With this in mind, UCOPIA and Nice Airport are working in tandem to ensure compliance with the requirements of the GDPR regulation.