INTERNATIONAL. Travel retail exclusive products, planning and price comparison are far more important factors among cruise travellers than airport passengers, according to a new study.

Swiss research agency m1nd-set says it has identified significant differences in the shopping behaviour of the two types of traveller in its latest report.

Source: m1nd-set. Click to enlarge.

Some 65% of global cruise passengers plan their onboard duty free shopping, m1nd-set said, compared to 45% of international travellers shopping in airports. A vast majority of cruise ship shoppers (80%) compare prices, compared to 54% of airport passengers who do so.

The report also shows that travel retail exclusives are significantly more important among cruise shoppers as more than seven out of ten of them purchase such products – almost 30% more than airport shoppers. [A major feature on travel retail exclusives, canvassing the opinions of retailers, brands and consumers, was recently published in The Moodie Davitt eZine.]

Another key difference between cruise and airport shoppers is the destination of purchase, m1nd-set noted. Self-indulgence is much more common among cruise passengers than those in airports; around eight out ten cruise passengers purchase for themselves compared to just over half of passengers in airports. In contrast, 38% of shoppers in airports purchase for gifting, compared to only 10% of shoppers on cruise ships.

Source: m1nd-set. Click to enlarge.

M1nd-set noted the significant variation in footfall and conversion rates between the cruise and airport retail channels in the report, which is due to the vastly different dwell time factors across each retail sector.

“The cruise retail environment is perfect for understanding customer behaviour and adapting the marketing and merchandising strategies,” explained m1nd-set Travel Retail Research Director Clara Perez.

“This aspect of cruise retail presents highly favourable circumstances for increasing conversion rates: There are unparalleled opportunities for brands, together with the retailers, to fine-tune the product offer and convert passengers, particularly the non-shoppers, during the same journey, thanks to the multiple shopping visits that cruise passengers will make during the trip.”

The cruise retail environment is perfect for understanding customer behaviour, m1nd-set said. Tallink Grupp recently refreshed its offer onboard Baltic Queen (pictured).

She added: “The duration they spend on board, together with their expressed desire for exclusive items as well as other specific behaviour, such as the tendency to notice advertising for the cruise shopping offer prior to the journey, provides a unique scenario for brands and retailers to test different strategies while the passengers are still on board.

“They can roll out different campaigns for specific high value products and fine tune the product and pricing offer based on customer insights and feedback gathered during the passengers’ time on the cruise ship. This is every marketers’ dream scenario.”