Travelers appear to be happier with the duty free shopping experience these days, according to the results of the Duty Free World Council’s quarterly KPI Monitor for the second quarter of 2016.
The report, which was compiled from interviews with over 4,000 travelers across all major world regions during Q2 2016, demonstrates a marked improvement in perception levels of the overall shopping experience and the role of exclusives.
Duty free shopping as an integral part of the travel experience, motivation to purchase exclusives, the unique experience and a place to buy gifts combine to account for a 6% improvement in the shopper perception among the travelers interviewed since Q4 2015 when the Customer Satisfaction Index was launched. The only aspect which sees a downward trend (-2% vs Q4 2015) is the number of passengers who perceive duty free to be cheaper than elsewhere.
Produced in partnership with research and consulting agency m1nd-set, the Monitor reports a slight increase in the Customer Satisfaction Index globally, up one percentage point on the previous quarter.
Europe and South America have both seen a slight drop in overall Customer Satisfaction levels, both falling by one point, for the second quarter in a row for South America.
Asia Pacific records improvement for the second quarter running, up by 2 percentage points, and the Middle East is up by one percent while satisfaction levels for North America remain constant.
The value aspect emerged as the most impactful on the overall satisfaction index, with value for money moving into first place among the main aspects listed, up from second place two quarters ago. The range of affordable products has also moved up from 5th to 4th place among most impactful aspects identified.
Another positive outcome of this latest KPI Monitor is a decline in the percentage of travelers expressing confusion over customs rules: 38% of shoppers say they are not well informed about the customs regulations, down 2% from Q4 2015. There is also a 2% drop in the number of shoppers saying they refrain from purchasing due to confusion over the rules and the fear of having their goods confiscated.
The KPI Monitor reveals that travelers are using technology more frequently while shopping in duty free and travel retail. There is still room for improvement, however, as adoption levels are still relatively low. Only 17% of shoppers surveyed say they are using electronic devices for shopping information, although this is up from 15% on the final quarter of 2015. Fewer people are claiming never to use electronic devices for shopping information compared to the same period – 49% compared to 53% in Q4 2015.
While still less than half of shoppers compare prices with other duty free shopping locations, downtown or on the internet, the percentage has increased by 2% from 44% last quarter to 46%. 9% of shoppers (3% more vs Q1 2016) are comparing prices to internet retailers while 19% (1% less than in Q1) say they are comparing to downtown retailers.
While the Shopper Monitor reveals top level data for the most part, with some regional differentiation insights, more detailed data on the regional disparities for each aspect studied is available from m1nd-set upon request (firstname.lastname@example.org ).