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Mobile App Development Case Study - DUTY FREE SHOPPING


Retail & Duty Free Shopping

Customer Profile

Customer is a leading airport handling a large volume of passengers and a well-known tourist destination in South-West Asia. As part of airport modernization program, many new measures and initiatives including a kiosk based Duty-Free Shopping is proposed to attract and capitalize on the opportunities.


  • Avoid long queues and better purchase experience for lounge customers
  • Tight Link to the Point of Sale systems keeping stock of inventory
  • Rich User Interface providing better user experience
  • Works internal to the application
  • Responsive User Interface suiting different form factors

Technology Used

  • Xcode IDE
  • Cocoa Framework
  • iOS
  • SQLite database
  • PHP Admin site
  • MySQL database


Customer partnered with Congruent to design and develop a concept app for Duty Free Shopping which would enable passengers to browse through the product catalog and order for items from inside lounges, using this kiosk application.


Customer Situation

Airport has duty Free Shops that sell a wide range of products like electronic gadgets, cosmetics, apparels, souvenirs, etc. At present, the passengers walk into the respective duty-free shops to procure these articles. These passengers, some of them are privileged VIP customers; find it difficult to go through the procurement process making it an opportunity loss for the airport.

Product Development Partnership

Customer was in the process of modernizing the airport and amenities. In pursuit of the same, the authorities proposed to upgrade the lounge with the introduction of kiosk facilities for passengers to shop with the Duty-Free outlets inside the airport.

With this background, the customer partnered with Congruent to build a native iPad application which will act as the kiosk for customers. The native iPad application will need to be integrated with the LS Retail for NAV Point of Sale system to get the inventory, quantity and pricing information and update the quantity back on completing the order.

Congruent built the server component using PHP and MySQL to reduce the cost on licenses and infrastructure. The iPad application hosts a native database to store the order information and cache the product information offline in case of lost connectivity.

Congruent managed the entire activity in typical waterfall model. Congruent team had visited the customer’s facility to understand the infrastructure, study their business and hence come up with an architecture which was then used to build the application in iterative mode.

What is Duty Free Shopping App?

As the name suggests, Duty Free shopping is an app that will run native to iPad. The application lets the user to browse through the product catalog and view the details about products including a thumbnail image, product description, manufacturing/expiry date, etc.

Users can then choose the product(s) from the catalog and specify the quantity and add them to the shopping cart. Once complete, they can check out the cart which will result in the lounge personnel procuring the items and complete the order.

Once paid through the gateway, the order will be delivered to the user when he/she leaves the airport.

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