Interview with InterLnkd : Is there a new kid on the travel retail block ?
We talk to former Singapore Airlines, AirAsia and easyJet executive, Barry Klipp now Co-Founder and CEO of new travel tech retail platform - InterLnkd.
JES – Barry, tell us about InterLnkd
Barry – InterLnkd is the first company to provide the travel and hospitality industry an intelligent platform to earn a new stream of revenue from the products their customers buy in fashion, beauty, and retail for the holidays they have just purchased.
JES – How does InterLnkd work?
Barry – We use proprietary matching engine technology to curate a bespoke offering for each customer, from the products of our partner brands to specifically match the customer’s holiday they are going on. We then take it a step further and invite that customer to a white label shopping mall, on behalf of our travel partners, where just like a tangible shopping mall customers can review retailers, brands, offers to their liking and purchase accordingly.
JES – How did you come up with the concept?
Barry – Up until Covid hit, I’d had a relatively long and successful career in commercial aviation. One specific remit of running ancillary revenue for a group of airlines opened my eyes to the personalisation within the upsell model. We were selling everything from car hire, travel insurance, hotels, activities and indeed developed the first pre-board duty free purchase / collect onboard or at the airport platform.
However, it occurred to me, we still were not selling the products someone would actually need and want for the holiday they had just booked – think swimwear and suntan lotion for beach breaks, or ski jackets and salopettes for that ski trip or jeans and backpacks for that city escape. This combined with the fact that the costs of running an airline are extreme, notably airport costs – it fundamentally seemed wrong to me that airlines would spend large budgets on marketing to sell seats filling a plane, then spend significant sums on airport parking fees etc, only to send all that demand to the airport 3 hours before departure and get nothing in return for creating that demand that is spending in those airport shops.
The intention behind InterLnkd was not to replicate pre-book models, or the airport shopping experience, but actually encapsulate every shopping experience out there from a Westfield shopping mall to a stroll down the premium world of London’s Bond Street, and build it into one personalised digital mall, essentially powering the shopping mall of the travel industry to provide it a new stream of revenue.
JES – Is it your intention to disrupt the airport shopping operators?
Barry – Not directly. We are working in an earlier stage of the consumer purchase and consideration cycle, and there will always be room for that spontaneous purchase of a Chanel handbag, bottle of Scotch, or bar of Toblerone that can be purchased at the airport. In fact, many of the larger known retailers found at airports have already integrated with us.
JES – What is your current traction?
Barry – We have been pushing along quite rapidly since launch, with over 1000 major brands both high-street and high end, across Fashion, Beauty and Retail now integrated to our shopping mall as well as being in a number of direct discussions with airlines, hotel groups and travel companies. Most recently we closed a significant investment round to allow us to continue with our vision of powering the shopping mall of the travel industry.
JES – Can you offer our readers anything if they would like to integrate with InterLnkd?
Barry – For any of your readers keen to understand more and integrate with InterLnkd, we would be happy to offer them a 15% discount on the one-off integration fee. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and quote JES Travel Retail before 15 July and we’ll get in touch to discuss integration at the special offer price.
To find out more go to www.interlnkd.com