Brussels Airport digital tour validation project image.png

Should Brussels Airport invest in a digital airport tour?

How we validated the investment with a data-driven experimentation approach.

In this use case, we cover the digital validation project Seven Beaufort has conducted for Brussels Airport Company.

  • The central research question was: "Should Brussels Airport Company invest in a digital tour?"
  • We launched a Minimum Viable Product of the digital tour together with a set of validation experiments to track if passengers were actually interested.
  • This enabled Brussels Airport Company to make a data-driven decision for potential investment.

Reassuring and guiding passengers is key

In a post-COVID summer where airport operations are under pressure, every improvement to help passengers prepare better for their airport visit makes a difference. Improving the passenger experience by providing the right information, guidance, and reassurance is a key differentiator. Opportunities for innovation in wayfinding exist with digital technologies such as Augmented and Virtual Reality. Today, these technologies can be developed fast but can become expensive.

Brussels Airport Company identified an opportunity to develop a digital airport tour with digital agency Youreka, providing the opportunity for passengers to virtually walk through the airport in advance. Passengers also receive information on the airport’s processes. However, the airport was not sure whether this investment would be the right move. Seven Beaufort set out to validate the potential of this virtual tour to help passengers.

Therefore, the central question we wanted to answer was:

Should Brussels Airport Company invest in a digital tour or not?

An innovative and data-driven approach

We set up a validation strategy to gather clear data to get to a go or no-go investment decision by running several digital experiments.

The first part of the validation strategy was to create a minimum viable product (MVP) of the tour based on the most crucial part of the customer journey in the airport: from check-in until right after the security screening. The MVP would end right when you’re going to the gate.

Digital tour Minimum Viable Product visual.png

Screenshot of the digital tour MVP.

There are an unbelievable number of opportunities with this technology, from commercial upselling to more advanced wayfinding to informing passengers - the sky is truly the limit (aviation pun intended). However, in this proof-of-concept, we wanted to validate if the most important and basic application was interesting enough for passengers. We needed to keep it simple.

The second part of the strategy was to define the main goals of our PoC into two validation questions:
o Will passengers be interested in this tool? Will they use it?
o Will they feel more confident to find their way during their next airport visit?

If the answers to these questions were positive, the investment to further develop the digital tour and include it in the offering would be justified.

Validation through digital experiments

Here’s what we did to get the right data for our validation questions:

  • We translated our vision for the MVP to reality through co-creation in a multi-disciplinary team with the developers from Youreka, wayfinding, security screening, and digital experts of Brussels Airport Company
  • We set up a digital experiment structure to get us the data and evidence we need to answer our key validation questions.
  • We set up a digital tracking system to measure how passengers interact with the tool online.
  • We conducted A/B/C tests with several banners and links on Brussels Airport Company’s website to get insights into which value propositions resonated most with the passengers.
  • We attached a digital survey to collect qualitative passenger feedback.
  • We decided on clear success criteria for the KPIs of the experiment upfront based on benchmarks of Brussels Airport Company’s website and campaign performance.
Digital Validation Experiment. A/B split test with traffic distribution..png

Example of an A/B/C test conducted on Brussels Airport’s website. The total traffic was evenly split over 3 variants.

A clear path forward

The results of the validation experiments were clear-cut:

  • A lot of passengers visited the digital tour.
  • Conversion rates on the website banners and links passed our validation criteria.
  • Passengers stayed particularly long in the tool and did not drop-off.
  • Experiment variations focusing on security screening outperformed the other variations.
  • Qualitative passenger feedback was positive, especially from passengers traveling with anxiety, children, and disabilities.
  • Commercial potential of the tool had also shown promising results.

The validation experiments resulted in a clear answer to our main research question:

Brussels Airport Company can confidently invest in a digital airport tour.

Ready to start validating?

Validation strategies offer a business a way to replace opinion-based by evidence-based decision making. These validation experiments are inexpensive and fast approaches to de-risk innovation initiatives. The project above was conducted in a timespan of 2 months.
Want to validate new offerings for your company, but not sure where to start? Feel free to reach out to us for a chat to see if we can help you out.

Want to have a chat about validating your new product or service?


Olivier De Hous