DFWC Q3 KPI Monitor reveals latest travelling shopper preferences

By Luke Barras-hill |

Less than one third of travelling shoppers are seeing information on duty and tax free offers, according to the latest Duty Free World Council (DFWC) Quarterly Global Shopping Monitor Q3 2023.

Findings supplied by Swiss travel retail research firm m1nd-set reveal that 21% of shoppers actively searched online for information about the DF&TR assortment, a 6% rise compared with Q2.

But there remains little movement since the previous quarter across other main touch points seen by customers at the airport prior to shopping, except for adverts and billboards – up 2% to 16% in Q3.

Dr. Peter Mohn, CEO and Owner of m1nd-set, commented: “While we saw little movement in the exposure to touch points in general except for those searching online, we are seeing a general decline in the number of shoppers who are exposed to touch points prior to travelling or shopping.

“This declined by 4% between Q2 and Q3 this year with less than one third of shoppers now exposed to information about the duty and tax free shopping offer. This means greater efforts are required to reach the travelling consumer prior to departure with messages tailored to their individual profile.

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“We also see a decline in the number of shoppers interacting with staff over the last quarter. Despite the decline in the number of interactions, the fact that the impact of staff interaction is increasingly positive underlines the need to ensure sales staff and brand ambassadors are more proactively engaging with shoppers.”

On purchasing motivations, the monitor indicates that incidences of impulse buying in duty free shops have increased for a second consecutive quarter to 30% in Q3 – a three percentage point rise on Q2.

There has been no change in the specific planning behaviour, the monitor suggests, yet there has been a decline in the percentage of shoppers that plan which product they wish to purchase.

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The tendency to self purchase declined by eight percentage points quarter-on-quarter to reach 50% in Q3.

However, gift purchasing and sharing purchases registered increases for the period in question.

Shoppers also bought more following requests from friends and family during Q3.

The DFWC’s KPI Monitor series, which draws on data from m1nd-set’s Business 1ntelligence Service (B1S) provided by IATA’s Direct Data Solutions (DDS) air traffic database and forecasting tool, shows that four out of the top five international departing airports between June and August this year were in Europe (London Heathrow, Dubai International, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Frankfurt).

The US topped the ranking of leading nationalities for international departures across all airports, with more than 53 million US travellers in Q3, followed by the UK with 45m Britons, with those from Germany, France and Italy making up the remainder.

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DFWC President Sarah Branquinho said: “It is encouraging to see that global air traffic has been consistently increasing over the past three quarters and reaching closer to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019. Global air traffic is now only 7% short of 2019 levels in Q3, which is a big improvement on Q1.

“Understandably, Asia Pacific is still trailing the furthest behind, but air traffic from the Middle East and South America are now both ahead of 2019 levels. The return to normality must be accompanied by additional efforts on staff engagement.

“We look forward to seeing more retailer staff and brand ambassadors joining the DFWC Academy and following the various courses the Academy proposes to ensure a better understanding of the traveller mindset. This will contribute to improving in-store interactions between staff and shoppers and, consequently, increased sales performance.”

All tables and data courtesy of DFWC Quarterly Global Shopping Monitor Q3 2023

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