ASUTIL: Make duty free relevant to digital natives to boost shopper spend

By John Gallagher |

Gregory Ford, Pernod Ricard, General Manager Travel Retail Americas.

Gregory Ford, Pernod Ricard, General Manager Travel Retail Americas.

Duty free alcohol shoppers who are exposed to multiple online touchpoints can spend up to 72% more than other shoppers, according to research by Pernod Ricard.

It was just one of the insights revealed in the ‘Digital Opportunities in Duty Free’ session, which took place on Thursday 8 June from 17:45-18:30 as part of the 2023 ASUTIL Conference in Buenos Aires, marking the final session of the programme.

Greg Ford, Pernod Ricard General Manager Travel Retail Americas, joined Stefano de Carolis, Meta Latam Account Manager for Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Peru, on stage to drill down on ways to utilise technology more effectively and, in turn, make duty free more relevant to digital natives.

The session highlighted the steps travel retailers and their brand partners can take to more effectively engage travelling consumers using digital, mobile and online tools. From a brand perspective, emerging digital trends were under the microscope.

“Things are changing very fast,” said Ford. “Over 80% of our duty free alcohol shoppers are exposed to multiple online touchpoints, and those that are exposed tend to spend up to 72% more than other shoppers, according to our research.

“We need to become much more native to reach this new generation of shoppers. That means reaching the traveller across as many touchpoints as we can, and in a really engaging, consistent way.”

Ford pointed to the success of shopper interactions at Singapore Changi Airport, such as the first in-airport Martell artificial intelligence powered boutique in partnership with Lotte Duty Free, as reported by TRBusiness in February.

Pernod Ricard has also been planning omnichannel campaigns, said Ford, with the Jameson ‘Arrive Like A Local’ campaign being one of its most successful in several duty free markets.

Ford underlined the importance of partnerships in consistent brand-retailer engagement, creating outstanding shopping experiences that will look virtually the same online and offline.

Stefano De Carolis, Meta PanLatam, Account Manager for Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru

Stefano De Carolis, Meta PanLatam, Account Manager for Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru.

“Meta’s collaborative ads allow us to engage via brand-specific messages,” added Ford, stressing the very clear returns from increased advertising spend and from embracing new trends such as livestreaming.

In closing, Ford said that the duty free industry needs to shift mindsets to address the full path to purchase, and to listen to the traveller and what they really want.

Meta’s De Carolis told delegates that connecting brands to new and existing consumers was possible via videos, creators and experiences.

Short videos, he said, is the next big shift when it comes to making, watching and sharing entertaining content.

“Fast, dynamic, concise stories that reward our attention” is the way ahead, he stressed.

People would spend their time and their money with creators they love, with over half (54%) of Brazilian shoppers discovering new brands from creators, he revealed.

De Carolis also highlighted how Meta platforms offer augmented reality, “to help customers discover, explore and purchase in a frictionless experience”.

The company is building three hubs – in Miami, London, and Singapore – to work more effectively with travel retail partners.

By working together, De Carolis said that Meta could help partners to increase demand and average sales tickets in stores.

“We know a lot about people from the point they search for the ticket to when they leave their home and then return later,” he said.

“We have capacity to influence their awareness and encourage consumption.

“We can sub-categorise the audience of frequent international travellers into their demographics, behaviour and interest in particular categories. We can overlay this with first-party data, which you in the industry have.”

Meta’s objective, said De Carolis, is to continue to develop solutions to accelerate collaboration between brands and retailers for the benefit of all parties.

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