October 26 2018  |  Industry News

Physical and digital connections vital for travel retail conversion, says m1nd-set

By Mary Jane Pittilla

The latest research report published by m1nd-set underlines the importance of both physical touchpoints and digital communication touchpoints in the travel retail environment as a means to optimize conversion.

The Swiss agency says the results of the study, which was conducted among global duty free and travel retail shoppers, show that by combining both personal and digital touchpoints, the perception of the overall customer experience improves, as does the conversion rate.

Digital touchpoints are particularly intense before the trip, whereas personal interactions are constant throughout the entire journey, according to m1nd-set.

Over half of all shoppers in travel retail say they notice touchpoints, whether online or offline, before leaving home for the airport. Pre-trip information search online is one of the key sources of information for travelers, used by 44% of travelers.

The main digital touch points for travelers before the trip are shopping apps and websites, social media services and the brands’ own websites.

The report highlights the importance of personal interactions and the impact on travelers’ final decision to purchase. Recommendations from family and friends have a high impact in the pre-trip phase as well once in the duty free shop of the departure airport and downtown at their destination.

Shoppers tend to view these as the most trusted source of information, according to m1nd-set.

Interaction with sales staff in the duty free shop, in particular on the return leg of their journey are also highly impactful on the shopper’s decision to purchase.

According to m1nd-set Travel Retail Research Director Clara Perez, the opportunities lie in the ability of airports, retailers and other airport commercial partners to gather data on their passengers.

“There are many untapped opportunities in reaching international travelers as they are in the booking process to communicate with those travelers who do not visit the airport shops,” says Perez.

“Our research shows that while six in 10 consumers expect brands to tailor marketing messages to their time, location and personal behavior, over one third of international travelers are willing to pay a premium for more bespoke services if the offer takes into account their previous behavior and personal preferences. It’s important though to ensure staff are trained and empowered to use the data for cross-selling or up-selling.”

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