Travel retailers need to meet shoppers where they are, says m1nd-set

By Charlotte Turner |

According to Swiss research agency m1nd-set, consumers’ tendency to shop across retailers’ digital platforms will only increase this year and their interest in personal healthcare products will also grow.


The latest research from m1nd-set suggests that social commerce, healthcare and conscious consumerism will dominate 2022 shopper trends.


Among the trends identified in the research, consumers highlighted their increasing tendency to shop via digital platforms, with a particularly strong inclination towards social commerce.


A continued and increasing preference for personal healthcare products was also identified in the research, while conscious consumerism is another dominant trend consumers highlighted, underlining the growing importance they place on how brands and retailers communicate the sustainable way in which products are made, packaged and sold in travel retail.



M1nd-set believes that in order to adapt to changing consumer preferences, retailers and brands need to be ‘meeting shoppers where they are’, via social commerce. M1nd-set owner and CEO Dr Peter Mohn elaborates: “More than eight out of ten shoppers we interviewed said that the digital presence and experience is as important as the in-store experience.

“Given the fast pace in the growth of online commerce over the past two years brands and retailers need to expect to meet shoppers online first and adapt the consumer journey so that the most convenient path is proposed; whether it proceeds online only or in the physical store. This journey should increasingly commence and will increasingly end with social commerce.”


According to m1nd-set, the social commerce market grew by more than 30% in some developed markets in 2021 and is set to more than double in market size over the next four years.



The research reveals that millennials and GenZ consumers are the shopping segments most frequently engaging on social commerce, via Facebook and Instagram in particular.


Around a quarter of shoppers interviewed said they had used Facebook and two-fifths Instagram, according to m1nd-set.

The research agency says there is significant potential for brands and retailers in travel retail to capture this market given the synergies with some of the most common categories purchased on social commerce platforms. These include jewellery and watches, fashion & accessories and books, including e-books.


Social commerce also creates opportunities for travel retail to develop new products and services. “Consumers will be using social commerce more and more frequently to make their purchases and social media location tracking tools enable brands and retailers to target consumers easily when in, or near, an airport,” added Mohn.



“The opportunities are endless, but failure to meet the consumer in a place where he or she is increasingly used to shopping will mean brands and retailers risk forfeiting considerable sales opportunities.”


The second major trend identified in the research is the higher demand for personal healthcare products.


According to m1nd-set, more than a third of shoppers (35%) said they have been purchasing more personal healthcare products since the pandemic. “Consumers have also been taking up new sporting activities and hobbies as well as seeking more health and wellbeing treatments such as spas and retreats, than before the pandemic,” added the research company. Ms1nd-set believes there will be significantly greater opportunities for brands that either already sell products or develop services in line with this trend.

Lotte Duty Free have long been tapping into the demand for health and wellbeing products.

Lotte Duty Free have long been tapping into the demand for health and wellbeing products via digital platforms.


The final trend which consumer say will impact the way they shop in travel retail in 2022 is the increasing awareness among shoppers of the concrete impacts of climate change and greater concern for the environment.



Around eight out of ten duty free shoppers are more concerned about sustainability than ever before, both living and shopping sustainably, according to m1nd-set and the trend is growing: more than half say they are more concerned than they were two years ago.


More than two thirds of shoppers globally say they prefer to purchase brands that are transparent and proactively demonstrate social, ethical and environmental values and practices, when shopping in duty free stores. Just less than 9 out of 10 shoppers believe that sustainable values are important for the brand’s image.


“Brands and retailers not only need to improve their processes but also increase their focus on communicating their sustainability,” added Mohn.


“The values and ethics of the products companies produce and/or sell need to be promoted continuously as consumers say transparency on these elements is extremely important when considering their purchases.”


The research, which was conducted among 10,000 consumers who have travelled internationally in the past six months from m1nd-set’s proprietary database of global travellers, also underlines the pent-up desire among consumers to travel again.


International flight bookings are expected to grow significantly in the latter part of 2022, as confidence in international travel resumes. Consumers who are planning to travel internationally say they intend to travel more than they did before the pandemic.

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