Trip Purchase Infinite: TripurX is rewriting the rules of online engagement for China Duty Free Group. Pictured here is a screengrab from CDFG’s Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport e-shop.

CHINA. TripurX Tech has signed a new renewable one-year contract with China Duty Free Group (CDFG) to enhance the Chinese travel retailer’s online promotion capabilities.

The recently renamed TripurX platform (formerly known as the GlobuyX miniprogram) is integrating CDFG’s airport duty free e-shops and selected other stores to provide engagement services for over 4 million Chinese travellers (from major to tier-1 cities).

TripurX is an abbreviation for ‘Trip Purchase Infinite’. It serves as a key digital partner to CDFG, leveraging the platform’s strength in precision marketing through an integrated WeChat ecosystem – a key benefit in terms of direct consumer engagement, especially during such difficult times.

In 2019, several CDFG duty free e-shops were launched on TripurX, including Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Chongqing, Xi’an, Shenyang, Xiamen and Sanya. Users can discover store information and search for products (introduction, price, stock availability etc.) in those shops on TripurX before they travel.

TripurX’s social media platform Globuy also conducted duty free ‘Discovery Tours’ store by store and created unique shopping guides of each one for followers. This project recently won The Moodies 2020 Award for Best Use of a Social Platform, awarded by The Moodie Davitt Report. “We are glad to share this honour with CDFG,” said Globuy.

The company added: “The Discovery of CDFG Duty Free Shops is a unique and exclusive project between CDFG and Globuy that shares useful information with Chinese international travellers. It received good feedback and created positive social buzz.

“This project allows CDF stores to have more precise touch points in terms of their target customers. It is also a very solid base for our cooperation and drives the 2020 annual partnership plan.”

TripurX targets regular travelling shoppers

In terms of the TripurX membership profile, users travel more than twice a year; 90% of them are female, aged mostly between 25 to 39; 71% of them live in tier 1 and 2 cities; and they have relatively high consumption power, spending over RMB5,000 (US$706) per order. The average active user time on TripurX is over 400 seconds (six minutes and 40 seconds), while 60% of users will read the shopping guide before making a purchase decision.

In order to identify the precise consumer groups who have frequent and high consumption travel shopping habits, TripurX built a sophisticated membership system. This comprises four levels: Regular, Silver, Gold and Platinum, each showing rising consumption records in travel retail.

Online shopping made easy at CDFG’s Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport e-shop.

Maintaining the loyalty of these users is a key objective, TripurX said, noting that such regular customers are those most valuable to international travel retailers going forward. TripurX also offers its users a ‘futures bonus’ plan to encourage them to consume more. Each online order wins a futures bonus, which becomes cashable with the customer’s next order.

This year, TripurX will upgrade the existing nine shops to include more services, while adding five new CDF stores – each to be launched with shopping guide posts on WeChat platform Globuy. This extended programme will satisfy the needs of more Chinese travellers, TripurX said.

Creating a digital experience

As soon as e-shops are launched on TripurX and functions are upgraded, users who travel abroad frequently (i.e. at least twice a year) can pre-order duty free products online then pick them up at the airport. They can also search and view all products they are interested in and read the shopping guide. This allows them to make more informed and convenient final purchasing decisions compared to their previous duty free shopping experience.

To provide better online services to customers, TripurX offers those shops what it calls “impeccable” digital functions, including pre-order and product display – product introductions, pictures, prices, duty free shopping guidelines, multiple online payments etc.

To date, e-shops with pre-order functions have been launched with CDF stores in Cambodia; Xiamen; Shenyang; Chengdu; Chongqing; cdf Beauty (downtown Hong Kong, China); Nanjing, Kunming, Wuhan, Changsha, Fuzhou, Jilin, and Wulumuqi.

Besides the launch of e-shops and function upgrades, TripurX also offers CDFG a strong social campaign platform based on WeChat private traffic (through both TripurX and Globuy). This consumer base features active travel retail customers with proven strong consumption desire and capacity, people who travel and shop at duty free stores frequently.

cdf Beauty in Tung Chung, Hong Kong, China is one of the TripurX partner stores

Digital leverage key to the post-COVID-19 era

TripurX plans to collaborate with travel retailers and provide exclusive benefits and experiences to its users to increase loyalty. From online to offline, TripurX will use the power of digital to leverage quality social media content, it pledged. This will include retailer shop discovery; duty free ‘must buys’; and offering users information about interesting campaigns, in order to maximise the exposure, create consumption desire and finally convert to sales.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the international travel industry has been severely disrupted, as has the travel retail sector, TripurX said, noting that before the pandemic, duty free retailers’ traffic was mainly offline, in-store. However, much of it now has transferred to online, contactless shopping, which has become a safe, efficient, convenient, and sustainable way to purchase.

This transition has triggered a sharp rise in TripurX users, from 2.2 million (at 30 January 2020) to 4.1 million(1 June). Daily active users (DAU) have increased from 20,000 to 250,000. Driven by the crisis and the resultant restraints on travel, CDFG’s potential consumer traffic moved to e-shopping “quickly and naturally”, said TripurX. “For both TripurX and CDFG, now is the time to work closer and move faster.”

Confidence in recovery prospects

Contactless shopping through digital platforms is key to retailer survival during this difficult period, TripurX said. “We all know that this epidemic is temporary; it will end sooner or later. However, this online shopping, pre-order pattern will endure, because it brings retailers and customers more than just convenience. Retailers and brands need to think more about how to attract customers through the ‘magic’ power of live streaming and contactless shopping in the future,” the company said.

“Every year, Chinese people spend US$100 billion overseas, and 60% is on shopping. There is a huge market for outbound travel and duty free shopping. TripurX and Globuy will continue to focus on our existing millions of users and by working with close partners such as CDFG will serve as a strong connection between retailers, brands, and users. We aim to be the favorite B to C platform for Chinese international shoppers,” TripurX concluded.

Note: Globuy and The Moodie Davitt Report also enjoy a close alliance.

As part of a pioneering information-sharing agreement with the prominent Chinese consumer platform, a selection of our online stories about key Moodie Davitt brand partners appears on Globuy’s weekly WeChat Duty Free News Flash column.

Globuy aims to become “the KOL of Chinese travel retail” and already has 400,000 followers and a monthly audience of 1 million views for its WeChat social media platform promoting new launches, product availability, promotions and special offers. As a Preferred Media Partner, Globuy will be in attendance at the inaugural Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo in October, bringing news from all exhibitors to its vast Chinese readership.

Visitors to the Virtual Travel Retail Expo from all over the world will be able to access Globuy content and that of other preferred media partners at a dedicated Press Centre

China Duty Free Group is a Diamond Partner at the Moodie Davitt Virtual Travel Retail Expo alongside The SEVA Group with one more to be named soon