Industry Update
Opinion Article15 January 2019

10 Ideas Shaping the Future of Travel Retail

By Kacey Bradley, Lifestyle Blogger for The Drifter Collective

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Shifts in customer expectations and desires are changing the travel retail industry, but these innovations are positive developments for many entities. Luckily, companies are considering the limitations of time, space and convenience for travelers, and they're finding more effective ways to attract customers and offer merchandise. Your hospitality entity can also move seamlessly into the future of travel retail. Check out these 10 ideas that are contributing to the industry's progress.


1. Sensory Stops

Finding a fresh new experience is alluring to travelers, and sensory pop-ups are the solution. The Schiphol and Auckland airports saw one of these unique settings in Bombay Sapphire's glasshouse. The see-through building is home to the plants that are included in the company's gin, and the project gave customer's a rare perspective into their product. Creating a sensory atmosphere for customers is becoming more crucial, even in hotel shopping.

2. Airport Food Delivery

Consumers prize convenience, and when they can grab their meals and take off, you can accommodate their busy lives. Take the example of Deliveroo, which acknowledges people's busy lives and delivers their food to the gate at the airport. They've launched their delivery service in Dubai, and they continue to go to great lengths for customer satisfaction. Hotels are also partnering with Deliveroo and others for effortless, on-demand room service.

3. Duty-Free VIP Memberships

Reward valued and invested customers with the opportunity to access duty-free goods in a personalized way. The benefits of VIP programs can be tweaked to fit your hotel and clientele, but make sure to give them an exclusive opportunity to view and purchase duty-free items. Lotte Duty Free in South Korea is one service assisting shoppers using this strategy with their specialized setting and service.

4. Incentives for Delayed Customers

Flight delays are frustrating, and when those staying in your hotel end up sticking around, you can offer comfort through incentives. Treat them to a free meal in one of your hotel restaurants or give them a complimentary discount at a hotel boutique. You can boost your establishment's reputation and create loyalty after customers' mishaps.

5. Digital Offers Through Customer Technology

Because most people are carrying around a smartphone or alternate mobile device, digital offers are an effective way to engage customers. A mobile app with personalized assistance and tips for your location can get you more visibility. Retail store check-ins can also be worthwhile in facilitating engagement.

6. Brand Identity in Physical Stores

Online shopping is popular, but there's still an appeal to physical stores. Customers may enjoy the convenience of scrolling through online selections but picking up their purchases in-store can reinforce brand identity. Your hotel guests may be researching online and reserving products, but when they pick up their item from your hotel boutiques, they can get a fuller experience.

7. Interactive Guides for Reviews and Recommendations

Acting as a digital concierge, interactive stations can inform your guests on local dining, activities and more. Display plenty of options for your exploring customers on expansive screens to offer helpful suggestions. TripAdvisor outfitted their store with these in the Toronto Pearson International Airport, which pointed customers in the right direction after they left the store.

8. Efficient Check-out

Checking out customers from different countries can slow down the process with the barriers of currency and language. But people expect a speedy system even in travel retail, so use digital tools and retail software to accommodate these differences in travelers.

9. Personal Shopper Lounge

Staffing personal shoppers can give you an edge over the competition in travel retail, as customers are constantly on the move and may need help holding items, choosing outfits quickly and making decisions. Heathrow Airport features personal stylists that you can reserve along with a designated lounge for their services. Stylists as a complimentary service can encourage more purchases from your customers and improve the quality of their chopping.

10. Augmented and Virtual Reality Entertainment

You can transport customers to new places with augmented and virtual reality centers. Help people wandering around your hotel or stores enter vivid and entertaining scenarios with these centers. The hospitality industry can also use virtual reality to demonstrate local attractions and activities for travelers.

Give On-the-Go Luxury Shoppers a Curated Experience

While travel retail is changing, the central focus is still on the customer. Shopping experiences should offer exclusive chances and products with the added benefits of these ideas. An increase in technology and efficiency is important to keep in mind, but ultimately, give the shoppers a unique avenue for all the best parts of travel retail like duty-free purchases, personal service and rare opportunities.

Kacey Bradley

Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.

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