OpenDNA’s RooLife strikes AI-powered deal with Perth Airport to court Chinese tourists

OpenDNA ASX OPN RooLife Perth Airport China tourism market WeChat
Perth Airport's RooLife e-commerce platform will allow Chinese travellers to preorder and purchase products to collect at the Perth Airport on arrival and/or departure.

Australia’s fourth busiest airport has partnered with artificial intelligence (AI) and e-Commerce marketing company OpenDNA (ASX: OPN) in a bid to sell a variety of retail products to Chinese travellers in Australia and China.

Perth Airport has been dubbed as the “western hub to Australia” that welcomes in excess of 14 million passengers every year. According to flight statistics, an average of 14 direct flights from China and Hong Kong transit to or from Perth every week, providing an annual capacity of almost 350,000 travellers.

The agreement will see OpenDNA’s AI system integrated with Perth Airport’s RooLife e-Commerce platform in order to continually assess and refine the various product offerings made available to customers.

The duo also plans to “gather intelligence about customer preferences and buying habits” as part of a broader marketing strategy that will deliver valuable insights into their end customers in China.

OpenDNA said its hyper-personalisation engine will uniquely position Perth Airport to better understand consumer buying behaviour and will facilitate a personalised shopping experience delivering products ideally suited to Chinese consumers.

The partnership is set to provide both parties with the ability to drive engagement and enhance existing services being provided to travellers.

Furthermore, the deal may harness the economic potential created by Australia’s largest inbound tourism sector of 1.43 million Chinese visitors, currently spending in excess of $10 billion per annum, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Australian government body also estimates that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Australia is forecast to grow annually by around 12% over the next 10 years to reach almost 4 million visitors that spend around $26 billion per year by 2026–27.

Statistics also show that currently, only 8.7% of Chinese citizens hold passports which could mean that as the amount of Chinese tourists increases (in parallel to a gradual easing of travel restrictions by the Chinese state and continued growth in the Chinese middle class), the potential for future consumer growth at Perth Airport is “very strong”, according to OpenDNA.

“This partnership will not only be great for our Chinese customers but will also deliver benefits for our retail partners who can look to diversify their business for the China market by promoting and selling local Australian goods,” said Kate Holsgrove, chief commercial officer of Perth Airport.

“Perth Airport is working strategically with its airline partners to enhance Western Australia’s connectivity to the Chinese market which offers great growth potential, not only from a tourism perspective but also by attracting business travellers, international students and a number of export opportunities,” she added.

Trans-national commercial agreement

Under the terms of the agreement, OpenDNA is being tasked to provide all services to assist Perth Airport to grow sales to Chinese consumers through its RooLife platform, but also to provide its online licencing for China, system hosting, marketing design, translation, sales promotion and management services to support and drive e-commerce sales to Chinese shoppers.

OpenDNA has said it will provide a customised version of its RooLife online shopping platform to be marketed under the Perth Airport brand, incorporating OpenDNA’s AI hyper-personalisation and recommendation engine with RooLife’s WeChat Pay and Alipay payment processing facilities.

The ultimate goal is to generate a range of upselling opportunities to drive sales at Perth Airport while making shopping a far more seamless experience.

Additionally, OpenDNA and Perth Airport plan to launch a branded platform aimed at Chinese shoppers, allowing them to “purchase authentic Australian products directly from Perth Airport using their mobile phones while in the airport, travelling around Australia or from their home in China,” according to Mr Bryan Carr, managing director of OpenDNA.

“Importantly this engagement means that Perth Airport and its retailers will be able to accept payment for goods and services via the payment methods most widely used by Chinese consumers – WeChat Pay and Alipay, through the Perth Airport RooLife platform,” said Mr Carr.

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