INTERNATIONAL. Duty Free World Council (DFWC) President Frank O’Connell has said that a lack of experiential retail in duty free is “keeping shoppers away”, in reaction to new research into the industry.
The DFWC Quarterly KPI Monitor for Q3 2018, produced in conjunction with Swiss research and consultancy agency m1nd-set, highlights the growing importance of what the researchers describe as the “duty free differential”.
The findings show that a growing number of duty free shoppers state that having a ‘truly different experience’ is among their main satisfaction drivers. This view was expressed by 32% of the 4,000 travelling shoppers who were interviewed during September in compiling the research, a rise of +3% compared to the same period last year.
There was also an increase in the percentage of shoppers who said they purchased goods from duty free shops because the products were ‘different from usual’. 22% of shoppers quoted this purchase driver, up four percentage points from the previous quarter.
Duty free shops as a place to find exclusive and unique products and try new brands have also seen strong growth over the past 12 months. According to the research, there was an increase of +2% (to 30%) for ‘exclusive products’ and +7% (to 35%) for ‘new brands’ as satisfaction drivers.
The KPI Monitor overall shows a +2% increase in customer satisfaction over the previous quarter with rises in Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa and South America.
The report also illustrates air passenger growth using traffic data from IATA (the International Air Transport Association), showing a year-on-year increase in global traffic of +7%, in line with growth in Q2. Europe and Asia Pacific led the way among the regions, each increasing by +8% during Q3 2018.
DFWC President Frank O’ Connell said of the results: “The industry is moving towards more experiential retail executions and this is reflected in increasing customer satisfaction with experiential shopping at airports.
“We see from the research that experiential retail is among the top reasons for shopping in airports. It’s important to note that a lack of experiential retail is also what is keeping shoppers away.”
m1nd-set owner and CEO Peter Mohn said: “Our research also indicates that footfall would definitely increase if travellers knew they could find more unique experiences when shopping in airports.
“This should be reflected in store design, with greater focus on Sense of Place, a more personalised customer service approach and more proactive use of technology in-store, as well as in the way the stores communicate with shoppers, for example highlighting testing and sampling opportunities.”