ASX-listed eCommerce marketing company OpenDNA will work with Perth Airport to optimise the airport’s retail offering to Chinese tourists.

The marketing company announced the deal with Perth Airport earlier today, which will see OpenDNA (ASX:OPN) create a white-labelled version of its RooLife shopping platform.

Crucially, the partnership will give retailers access to a swathe of data to help them make better marketing decisions.

OpenDNA will handle all the online licensing, system hosting, marketing design, translation, sales promotion and management services for the app — which will be branded as a Perth Airport product.

Chinese customers, whether they’re currently in Perth or home in China, will be able to order gifts from Perth Airport’s retail stores via their phones.

This will also mean that retailers will be able to accept payment from Chinese tourists via WeChat or AliPay — a potential game-changer for the retailers involved.

WeChat and AliPay are the two preferred cashless payment options in China, and according to China Daily the total transactions conducted via mobile reached 277.39 trillion yuan ($A58.1 trillion).

That’s more than a 27-fold increase in value over just five years.

Several retailers at Perth Airport already offer WeChat payment options, but the new app will allow the retailers to market directly to Chinese consumers.

Crucially, OpenDNA’s artificial intelligence system will continually refine the product offering shown to Chinese consumers and gather intelligence on customers’ preferences and buying habits — allowing the retailers access to a swathe of data they didn’t have before.

Perth Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer Kate Holsgrove said the opportunity to have the business’ retailers market to Chinese consumers like never before.

“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,” she said.

OpenDNA Managing Director Bryan Carr said the deal would open up a whole new world for Perth Airport’s retailers.

“We are excited to be working with the Perth Airport to enhance the airport’s service and retail offering to Chinese tourists and travellers,” he said.

“Perth airport is perfectly placed to to be a trusted supplier of high-quality and authentic Australian goods to Chinese shoppers both when travelling to Australia, but also at home in China.” 

A booming market

The deal allows Perth Airport to tap into a boom of tourists arriving in Australia in recent years, and an expected boom to come.

Fourteen direct flights from China and Hong Kong land in Perth each week, providing capacity of 350,000 seats per year.

More broadly, 1.43 million Chinese tourists visit Australia each year — spending more than $10 billion per year while they’re here.

The number of Chinese tourists coming to Australia is forecast to grow by 11.9 per cent per year over the next decade, reaching 3.9 million visitors with a spending amount of $26 billion by 2027 financial year, according to Austrade.

With only 8.7 per cent of Chinese citizens actually holding a passport, the scope is for higher numbers still.

By building a proposition for Perth Airport, OpenPay will be hoping to latch onto the expected boom in tourists – and the money they’re spending — while providing valuable data to retailers.

“The OpenDNA hyper-personalisation engine uniquely positions Perth Airport to better understand consumer buying behaviour and to provide a personalised shopping experience to deliver products that Chinese consumers like and want,” it said.