Chinese travelers most likely to use smartphones for product research and price comparison, DFWC study finds
CHINA. Chinese travelers are the most likely to use their smartphones in airport stores, as they search the web and social media for product information.
European travelers are the least likely to do so, according to the Duty Free World Council’s (DFWC) quarterly KPI Monitor, produced in partnership with research and advisory agency m1nd-set.
The report also shows that 53% of Chinese travelers use the airport’s Wi-Fi to compare prices at duty-free stores. Only 20% of European travelers do the same and 19% in North America. The world average is 28%.
Chinese travelers are also the most active in researching tax-free shopping information before traveling, with 50% of them compared to a global average of 27%.
Around the world, electronics, beauty and fashion are the most sought after categories, with tobacco, souvenirs and alcohol being less affected.
DFWC’s overall satisfaction index showed an overall gain of + 1% compared to the previous quarter, while Asia-Pacific recorded an improvement of + 2% compared to the third quarter of 2016. The Middle East region and Africa suffered a -1% drop in overall satisfaction.
Aspects of the tax-free shopping experience that have the most impact on overall satisfaction levels have evolved, DFWC said. The “level of service” went from fifth to third place. “Giftable products” entered the top five, which the DFWC said was likely due to the impact of the holiday season, when the purchase of gifts is more common.
According to the study, 43% of travelers believe that duty free is “part of the travel experience”. The percentage of travelers who think duty free is a “great place to buy gifts” has grown steadily over the past four quarters, rising to 37% in the fourth quarter of 2016. Other aspects that saw a rise increasing trend include the suitability of the retail channel to find new brands, which has increased from 23% to 26% since the last quarter, as well as the ability of the channel to find exclusive products, up + 2 % to 23%.
The report was compiled from interviews with more than 4,000 travelers in all major regions of the world during the fourth quarter of 2016.