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Even for large companies with substantial resources, integrating digital technology into a sales and marketing strategy focused on international travellers can present a challenge. To many smaller and medium-sized businesses in duty free and travel retail, that challenge seems even more daunting. The good news is that help is at hand from the next TFWA Digital Village (2-5 October 2018 in Cannes). There, exhibitors specialised in digital applications, services and hardware for the travel retail market will demonstrate how to engage more effectively with today’s international traveller.
Take Perfumist, an app-based personal advisor for passengers seeking their ideal fragrance. It makes recommendations based on the user’s preferred notes and ingredients, enabling retailer staff or travellers to find the right fragrance within 3 minutes, as Frederick Besson explains: “The app database has 15,000 fragrances from 1,200 brands in 23 languages, creating a unique in-store digital experience. It’s already being used by airports worldwide to generate a sales uplift of up to 10%.”
IMD, the digital business of inflight media specialist IMM International Group, gives brands access to airline websites, wifi portals, e-tickets and boarding passes, allowing them to communicate with travellers throughout their journey. With passengers increasingly dependent on smartphones for information and entertainment, IMD helps its clients reach “very precise target audiences at scale on a unique ad platform”, according to the company’s Jean-Marc Chevassus. Digital marketing agency Global Smiling likewise lets brands talk to travellers but does so via social media with a special focus on Weibo and WeChat. Global Smiling can set up corporate accounts for their clients on these platforms, then plan and implement marketing campaigns around clients’ customer profiles. In Cannes the company “will present how we leverage social media to engage an audience, thereby encouraging them to shop”, says Christina Moor.
E-commerce is becoming a core component of any travel retailer’s marketing mix. Two Digital Village exhibitors have solutions that give retailers an online capability without disrupting existing operations. MyDutyFree is a search and pre-order marketplace for international travellers with 10,000 skus, 1,500 orders per month and an average basket size of €100. The company can have retailers up and running on their platform within a week. “We’ll present our duty free marketplace at TFWA Digital Village, as well as a modular solution for airports that allows them to create a customised online infrastructure” explains Daryna Lobur. OLLDU connects travellers with offline stores at airports, seaports, downtown locations and borders via a global pre-order shopping platform. “Our core business is networking digitalised stores” says OLLDU’s Janghwan Kim, “and for that we provide a safe, fast e-commerce solution.” Travel retailers can quickly and efficiently monitor their online sales via OLLDU’s data-management dashboard.
Finally, getting a product sample into a potential airport shopper’s hands is often the key to unlocking a sale. Sampling Innovations designs, produces, promotes and distributes samples, primarily for fragrance and cosmetic companies. “In Cannes, we’ll present a fully automated system that dispenses a single fragrance or make-up sample at the touch of a button”, explains Alba Solsona. “This innovative, interactive marketing tool converts sampling into an easy, enjoyable experience for the consumer.”