The modern retail environment generates more data than ever, and this is even more the case in airport retail, writes Moodie Insights Director of Insights Sara Merritt. There are different passengers, nationalities, destinations, reasons to travel and ultimately very different shopping needs.

Flight schedules, plane sizes, departure gates and traffic flows change continuously which leaves us with more information than perhaps we sometimes we know what to do with.

Big data analytics diagnose the sales performance context by determining whether metrics such as price, basket size or customer numbers were the biggest contributor to performance. Measuring what is happening in this way is critical to know where to focus efforts, but to understand the why is crucial in order to know what to do next.

Analysing millions of shopping purchases over time uncovers important trends and common patterns of behaviour.

The better we can understand customers’ shopping behaviour, motivations, reasons to buy and how they are changing over time, the more easily we can implement decisions that will grow our business.

In travel retail there are hundreds of shopper missions. Understanding and focusing on the most important to your business at the right time is critical to performance:

  • is the passenger wanting to treat themselves ahead of a holiday?
  • are they looking for a gift for their family returning home from a long work trip?
  • maybe they are stocking up for the flight ahead?
  • or they could just be passing time until boarding?

The way you would treat each of these individual needs is vastly different.

With a detailed understanding of shopper behaviour, retailers can create a much more engaging and tailored offer to the passenger passing through its stores at a specific moment in time.

By looking at the combination of products, categories, prices, flavours and pack sizes that are bought together within a unique transaction we can start to derive the customer’s reason to buy. Apply that over millions of baskets over time and we uncover important trends and common patterns of behaviour that influence shoppers’ choices.

Customers evolve over time and sometimes even within the same trip. Shoppers who are price sensitive in one category can indulge in another. And those who purchase gifts for the family as a priority after check-in may treat themselves with an impulse purchase later if they have time.

With this detailed understanding and focus, we can create a much more engaging and tailored offer to the passenger passing through our stores at a specific moment in time. Benefits include the ability to:

  • create more dynamic offers and activations.
  • reach the right customer, with the right message, at the right time.
  • optimise our human and financial investments to maximise impact.

In travel retail there are hundreds of shopper missions – understanding them is key to business performance.

Continual tracking and optimisation of this will be the key to continued success. It enables us to test new ideas, evaluate their performance and adjust before investing in those that prove most effective.

Eliminate the number of business decisions based on guesswork, gut feelings or research conducted on just a handful of shoppers. Instead listen to what your customers want by how they behave in your store.

NOTE: Moodie Insights is a joint-venture company formed at the beginning of 2018, and the latest addition to the Moodie Davitt family. It aims to bring a greater level of insight and informed decision-making to commercial leaders within the global travel retail and food & beverage sectors. Click here for an introduction to Moodie Insights.