November 30, 2011, 2:05 PM

Sales in the sky

SkyMall is building on its paper catalog’s ubiquity with free in-flight access to SkyMall.com on Wi-Fi-equipped planes.

Lead Photo

For a retailer, there’s nothing like a captive audience—if you know how to sell to them. Take SkyMall.com. Most air travelers know about the SkyMall paper catalog located in airline seatbacks—an entertaining shopping tool for finding innovative and useful products ranging from atomic wristwatches to massage boots for tired feet. Now SkyMall is building on its catalog’s ubiquity with free in-flight access to SkyMall.com on Wi-Fi-equipped planes. Messages in the catalog call attention to its online counterpart, where shoppers can click through an electronic version of the catalog or just browse SkyMall.com. “Conversion rates are higher in flight,” director of e-commerce Shea Beck says. Within the works is a more tablet-friendly site with better links for sharing products on social networks.

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