Beauty tops Chinese passenger shopping lists in 2024: m1nd-set

By Kristiane Sherry |

m1nd-set CEO Peter Mohn shares insights on Middle East and Africa

Peter Mohn, Owner & CEO of m1nd-set, says the preferences of the Chinese duty free shopper are shifting.

New research from Swiss agency m1nd-set shows that skincare leads the category rankings for planned duty free purchases among the Chinese passenger group.

According to Ultimate Guide to Chinese Travellers 2024, which is based on the results of a syndicated research programme, fragrances were the second most-popular category.

The data shows that 45% are planning on buying a skincare product on their next visit to a duty free store, ahead of the 38% who expect to purchase fragrances.

Accessories ranked third, with 37% planning to make a purchase in duty free. The rankings do differ when comparing Asian and non-Asian destinations, m1nd-set notes.

Those travelling to Asian destinations in 2024 plan to spend $2,500, compared to $3,000 for those heading further afield. 

The research is based on recent interviews with 3,000 Chinese travellers. The study focuses on the socio demographics of 2024 outbound travellers from the country. 

m1nd-set has tracked the trip characteristics for the 2024 Chinese passenger

m1nd-set has tracked the trip characteristics for the 2024 Chinese passenger

Topics included preferred destinations, trip characteristics and purpose, trip type, Lunar New Year travel plans, category planning, expectations about duty free shopping, trip research behaviour and shopping research behaviour. 

Chinese passenger shopping expectations ‘evolve’

Data from the m1nd-set study also shows that the expectations of Chinese shoppers have shifted in recent years when it comes to duty free. 

Over half said their expectations had changed, with two-thirds hoping for a greater variety of products and brands. Half said they want to see more promotions in store. 

Of those questioned, 40% said they expect more in-store entertainment, and a similar number want a greater use of technology. 

m1nd-set importance of shopping Chinese travellers 2024

Duty free shopping continues to be incredibly important for Chinese shoppers

Across all destinations, 85% of Chinese shoppers said they planned ahead and made a list prior to travel. About 25% know exactly what products they want to purchase, while 60% said they had some idea.  

“The  outlook and perspectives for the Chinese outbound travel market in 2024 are certainly looking positive, thanks to a number of market conditions and converging external factors,  both for travel from and to China,” said m1nd-set founder and CEO, Peter Mohn. 

“The easing of visa restrictions for international Chinese travellers and foreign visitors to China is supporting growth in both inbound and outbound tourism. 

m1nd-set duty free expectations Chinese travellers 2024

Expectations of duty free retailing are shifting

“Flight capacity increases will also bolster the forecasted robust growth in outbound  travel from China this year. This is leading to lower flight prices compared to 2023, which is further  positive news. 

“The priority which Chinese consumers now place on travel in their consumer  choices is yet another driving force behind the recovery that is now expected in 2024.”

He added that retailers stocking limited editions will attract the largest volume of shoppers. “More than eight out of ten Chinese shoppers said they wish to purchase a limited edition.

“Luxury and premium brands as well as novelties will also be high on the shopping list in 2024. 

“Chinese travellers will be looking to purchase trendy, up-and-coming brands as well as new brands they  have never discovered before.

m1nd-set duty free expectations 2 Chinese travellers 2024

There are differences between trips within Asia and further afield.

“To assist brands and retailers in targeting Chinese travellers across the relevant media and travel platforms the research also details the most visited and used services for researching information about the travel and shopping information. 

“It is interesting to see how the use of these travel apps and social media services evolves and how Chinese shoppers do their research on shopping differently, depending on where they are  travelling to.”

More information on the Ultimate Guide to Chinese Travellers 2024 is available from m1nd-set.

Last month, m1nd-set released a report which suggested GTR shoppers had become “more self-indulgent” than they were in 2019.

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