APTRA research findings

By Doug Newhouse |

The Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) has released the results of the first three surveys from its Consumer Research programme exclusively to its members, while providing some top-line findings in a press statement.

The association commissioned monthly duty free and travel retail surveys from research partner m1nd-set, which has a global database of participating consumers split over the nine major markets in Asia Pacific: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. 

In addition to general market questions there is a quarterly category focus, with the first on Fragrances & Cosmetics and the second on Wine & Spirits.

Amongst the interesting conclusions of the first monthly report is that almost half of travellers go spontaneously to duty free shops to see if there is something that interests them, while one in three is looking to buy a gift.

The research company also found that a consumer’s favourite airports are defined by the variety of duty free shops, followed by the service and the quality of cafes and restaurants, the lounge offer, as well as the quantity of duty free shops. APTRA says that Singapore Changi Airport performed particularly well on all four counts.

Looking specifically at consumer shopping behaviour relative to Fragrance & Cosmetics, m1nd-set found that one in four passengers does not compare prices at all, but if they do then it is mainly with department stores. Half of the Fragrances & Cosmetics purchases are for gifting, and a quarter buy to treat themselves.

Nearly 7% are dissatisfied with the customer service and beauty advisors, claiming that they would buy more if the advisors were more competent and friendly.

Turning to Wine & Spirits shopping behaviour, m1nd-set found that Australians are the most regular alcohol buyers and Japanese purchase least often.

Generally, 29% of Japanese consumers buy alcohol as a souvenir of their trip, which is significantly higher than other nationalities. In addition, 39% of buyers would like to receive advice from sales people in alcohol departments, with particularly strong demand for assistance from Chinese people.

Indicating just how confusing the duty and tax free system can be, especially with the current restrictions on liquids and gels, it was found that 27% think the regulations and information about liquid allowances should be clearer.

Sunil Tuli, APTRA President said: “APTRA Members now have access to invaluable independent research about consumer behaviour which they can use to inform product selection, staff training, store layout and many other aspects of their duty free and travel retail business. Even at this moment, consumers in the region are contributing their opinions and their experiences to our knowledge database. I commend this research to all stakeholders in the Asia Pacific region.”

The second wave of research currently underway covers consumer behaviour with regards to promotions and offers and a category focus on Tobacco. Other areas will come under scrutiny in the coming months, including footfall, conversion, shopping baskets and spend and a focus on Confectionery.

For more details about APTRA and a membership application form, consult www.aptra.asia.


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