Unlocking greater customer penetration and conversion in travel retail hinges on the quality of pre-trip touch points and pre-trip communication, according to the latest Duty Free World Council (DFWC) KPI Monitor.
The Q3 edition of the DFWC KPI Monitor, produced by Swiss research agency m1nd-set, drew on 4,000 interviews with global shoppers.
Findings were based on aggregating travellers’ satisfaction scores across all aspects of their duty free shop visits.
Topline results revealed that while a sizeable percentage (75%) of shoppers plan their purchases prior to travel, the majority (52%) do so with only a few ideas of exact items in mind. In turn, only a small number (23%) possess a specific idea of which product or brand they intend to buy at the duty free shop.
MARKETEERS URGED TO ‘GET SMART’
DFWC President Sarah Branquinho commented: “The latest DFWC KPI Monitor brings to the fore an important key to increasing penetration and conversion. With three quarters of shoppers planning their purchase, but less than one fifth of shoppers noticing touch points before their trip, travel retail marketeers need to identify the most effective pre-trip touch points to reach these shopping planners and integrate these into their media planning strategy.”
Peter Mohn, Owner and CEO, m1nd-set said: “The Monitor also demonstrates that the pre-trip communication on the duty free offer has a significant impact on both customer expectations and satisfaction with the shopping experience.
“It’s all the more important therefore to pay particular attention to these touch points and take into account how different customer segments engage with the various touch points to avoid standardising the marketing message.”
Mohn says this approach is particularly vital, given more travellers are drawing up a wish list of their preferred brands for shopping prior to departure.
He added: “Marketers need to ensure those who are planning are exposed to the brands across touch points prior to travel. The higher the exposure the higher the probability that the ‘specific planner’ shopper segment will convert.”
Overall, the Q3 Monitor showed global average customer satisfaction has lifted by one percentage point since Q2, with the Middle East and Africa experiencing the most notable increase – from 66% in Q2 to 68% in Q3.
Other findings highlighted that around four out of 10 shoppers value duty free shops as ‘a great place to purchase gifts’, while the share of travellers purchasing for gifting purposes remained flat over the past quarter at 43%.
Regionally, Asia Pacific and Europe displayed higher than average air traffic growth at 5% and 3.9%, respectively. This was based on airport passenger growth data, courtesy of m1nd-set’s Business 1ntelligence Service in collaboration with IATA.
Global passenger traffic rose by 3.7% to 979m for the period year-on-year, while all other regions posted below average growth.