November 25 2020  |  Industry News

m1nd-set report reveals evolving gifting behavior among travelers

By Hibah Noor

Conducted by the leading travel and travel retail research agency, the research indicates that despite economic uncertainty for consumers and retailers across the globe at this time, gift shopping is one category that is set to resist the impact of the pandemic

According to the latest m1nd-set report, retailers will need to embrace online to capitalize on the 2020 gift shopping season. The research, conducted by the leading travel and travel retail research agency, indicates that despite economic uncertainty for consumers worldwide as a result of COVID-19, gift shopping is one category that is set to resist the impact of the global pandemic.

As encouraging news, gifting has even accelerated among certain shopper segments and markets as consumers, unable to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and other special events in person because of social distancing, border closures and travel restrictions, have resorted to compensating their absence by purchasing more gifts online. Due to the radical changes that consumers have had to make during this time, it’s expected that gifting will generate an even deeper meaning this year.

This m1nd-set report will be reflected in the value of gifts purchased, as consumers seek out more meaningful and therefore more expensive gifts. The research also reveals that the 2020 gift shopping season will commence earlier than usual, with the continuing shift toward more online purchasing for the festive period.

Nonetheless, retailers face major uncertainty about holiday sales. While many are expanding their online offer and capacity for deliveries several-fold compared to last year, there is still a great deal of wariness in regards to consumer behavior this season. The worsening economic situation in some markets burdened by lockdowns is causing anxiety among many consumers who are fearful of their employment status, as many businesses have been forced to close or limit their activity. Referencing the m1nd-set study, the two conflicting dynamics are creating unprecedented complications in retail sales forecasting.



With gifting behavior and trends varying across different categories, segments and markets, those more likely to purchase items for gifting include Asia Pacific travelers, middle-aged shoppers and male consumers

The report also details how gifting behavior and trends vary across different categories and customer segments. Shoppers who buy products in travel retail as a gift are more likely than those who are shopping for themselves to travel for business purposes, plan their visit to the duty free shops in advance and buy products they have never purchased before. They are also less likely to compare prices, but more likely to purchase duty free exclusive products. The tendency to purchase items for gifting is higher among Asia Pacific travelers, middle-aged shoppers and male consumers.

“Online sales for gift purchases will be significantly higher than the same period last year. This is due to consumer concerns about shopping or the inability to go shopping in physical stores due to lockdown. To benefit from this trend, travel retailers will have to ensure that they are clearly visible to consumers online as they search for their festive gifts. A robust online presence will be essential for travel retailers to compete on the already crowded e-commerce playing field.

Travel retail online stores will not be instinctively front-of-mind among consumers, particularly since significantly fewer are currently traveling internationally and will be toward the end of the year. It is equally important therefore to have a robust digital marketing strategy to ensure visibility on the major search engines,” noted Peter Mohn, CEO & Owner, m1nd-set.

The research concludes with an analysis of emerging gift shopping behavior among consumers and how travel retailers can capitalize on the evolving trends. Gifting experiences and enabling shoppers to “ping” rather than pick up or post their gifts are among some of the opportunities and recommendations covered.

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