Experiential adventures and mindful shopping influencing beauty consumers

By Faye Bartle |

Foreo x China Duty Free

A Foreo hosted beauty masterclass in partnership with China Duty Free.

TRBusiness asked a selection of beauty suppliers to share the key shifts in behaviour they are noticing among consumers shopping the beauty category in travel retail, and how they are responding.

A growing desire to interact with brands through product demonstrations and receiving expert beauty advice at engaging, in-person events is on the radar for Foreo.

Investing in answering this need is earning the company a loyal fan base, which is helping to fuel its success in the channel, both now and in the future.

“We can take the travel retail market in Hainan as a key example here,” said Gary Leong, Global Travel Retail Director, Foreo.

“Customers pay more attention to the shopping experience and are more interested in the brands or products available if there are interesting initiatives that help them to further understand the benefits and methods of usage.”

Earlier this year, Foreo partnered with China National Service Corporation (CNSC), Shenzhen Duty Free and Hainan Tourism Duty Free (HTDF) to launch a Foreo x FAQ pop-up store, which provided a one-stop facial treatment for its customers.

The company also held its first-ever beauty class at CDF Mova Mall in China (an initiative that has since been expanded to other locations), where it explained various Foreo skincare routines consumers could follow, which was especially relevant for customers who were on holiday in the city.

Foreo pop-up at CNSC in Sanya.

Foreo pop-up with China National Service Corporation (CNSC) in Sanya.

“This helped them fully immerse themselves in the brand experience, and learn more about the technology behind the product,” said Leong.

“By ensuring this kind of 360-degree marketing and focusing on the experience rather than just pushing sales, we can seek out potential and recurring customers from the grassroots, for longer lasting relationships.”

Delivering memorable experiences is something that beauty brands in particular, with their potential to host tutorials, mini treatments and more, can look to further capitalise on as consumer confidence grows due to the return to travel.

“In terms of general behaviour, consumers are looking for more innovation and experiential adventures when shopping at airports,” said Mona L’Hostis, Head of Global Travel Retail Marketing, L’Occitane Group.

The brands has noted a growing interest in sustainable products as well as a greater focus on wellness products this year – both of which point to the move towards more ‘mindful shopping’.

L'Occitane's Nature Positive Campaign in Hainan.

L’Occitane’s Nature Positive Campaign.

L’Hostis cites m1nd-set research that shows 86% of travellers are now concerned about sustainability – a +44% uplift over the last few years.

“After brand and price, eco-friendly ingredients proved most important to 69% of consumers,” she said.

“They want to learn more about how sustainable products are in terms of traceability of ingredients and sourcing.

“Reducing carbon footprint is also key to travel retail consumers.”

The company has made its mark in the channel in 2022 with the roll out of its Nature Positive pop-ups at airports around the world, which showcase L’Occitane en Provence’s commitment to sustainability, reducing waste and protecting biodiversity.

Among its other activities in the channel, this has helped the company to experience an ‘increase in performance’ of its hero products, new packs and enhanced formulas this year.

“Overall, there is a demonstrable desire to reduce carbon footprint, with products such as our eco-refills and the reduction of unnecessary product packaging,” underlined L’Hostis.

Molton Brown haircare.

Molton Brown Botanical Haircare.

Consumers being more mindful when shopping is something Molton Brown is also pinpointing – and the company is well positioned answer the need.

Its recently unveiled Infinite Bottle made from aluminium (launching in 2023) and popular refills are just two of the impactful initiatives in its ongoing sustainability journey.

“We are seeing more and more shoppers in travel retail seeking to ‘buy less and by better’,” said Sophie Sponagle, Interim Senior Global Account Manager, Travel Retail, Molton Brown.

“This manifests in seeking out brands and products they trust, which is why we have continued our focus on our popular icons, to provide both excitement and reassurance for customers in the market.

“This is especially key with the swift recovery of leisure travellers, who are willing to treat themselves as they shop.

“This has led to an increase in the average transaction value in the wake of the pandemic and this trend has been sustained so far.”

This feature is an extension of our beauty trends feature, which appeared in the October 2022 issue. 

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