Team up to connect with your customers

Peter Mohn, owner and CEO of m1nd-set, provided a peek into the minds of duty free shoppers with industry research.

Peter Mohn, owner and CEO of m1nd-set, provided a peek into the minds of duty free shoppers with industry research.

Retailers need to come up with new and innovative ways to connect with their customers, according to Monday morning’s speakers, who also urged retailers to create smart, strategic alliances with airports to create a seamless journey for travelers.

IAADFS Board President Alberto “Pancho” Motta Jr. welcomed Angela Gittens, director general of Airports Council International (ACI World), and Peter Mohn, owner and CEO of m1nd-set, to the stage as part of a newly added session in the Duty Free Show lineup.

The two speakers presented their research and findings related to the travel retail industry.

“The most pressing issue for airports is their ability to make improvements,” said Angela Gittens, director general of Airports Council International. “The duty free industry needs to work with airports to find solutions and to understand their customers.”

“The most pressing issue for airports is their ability to make improvements,” said Angela Gittens, director general of Airports Council International. “The duty free industry needs to work with airports to find solutions and to understand their customers.”

Gittens kicked off the session, saying the airlines industry is healthy and experiencing growth. Retail sales are a leading source of non-aeronautical revenue for airports, showing the importance of the duty free market.

Technology upgrades and increasing Wi-Fi bandwidth are particularly important for airports, Gittens said. As airports update technology, she encouraged retailers to take advantage of the increased connectivity to better communicate with customers.

“The most pressing issue for airports is their ability to make improvements. The duty free industry needs to work with airports to find solutions and to understand their customers,” Gittens said. “They need to work creatively together to add to everyone’s bottom lines. It’s a great time to collaborate.”

infographic2Mohn provided a peek into the minds of the duty free shoppers with industry research his company conducted last month. Shoppers see service levels, the range of available luxury products, and store atmospheres as positive factors for travel retail stores, while areas of improvement include technology offerings, local product offerings, and the range of affordable products.

Travelers are looking for “sense of place” when shopping, Mohn said. He said travelers want products that are unique to an area or have a local flavor. He said his study found that 20 percent of shoppers would be motivated to buy if the shops had a stronger local identity.

Good connectivity is critically important as well, said Mohn, as North American business and leisure travelers take two or three different devices with them. According to the research, 93 percent of business and 86 percent of leisure travelers use the Internet at airports.

Gittens’ and Mohn’s presentations can be found at www.iaadfs.org/speakers.