CiR tracks Chinese traveler attitudes and behavior

Alcohol attracts the most footfall, but beauty has the highest conversion rate among Chinese travelers surveyed by Counter Intelligence Retail in its largest and most comprehensive study of Chinese travelers’ attitudes to shopping in the duty free and travel retail market.

Travel retail analyst, research and category expert CIR conducted online research among over 1,400 recent Chinese travelers living in or near 80 Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities, across 29 regions for its Chinese International Traveller & Shopper Report 2017, says CIR President Garry Stasiulevicuis.

CiR- Chinese travelers to Americas-(1)

“As well as uncovering general buying trends, one of the aims of the survey was to identify key variations in shopping and travel behavior between Tier 1 city residents, and the emerging middle classes in Tier 2 and 3 cities,” he said.

CIR reports that international travel has become relatively commonplace with close to half (47%) of respondents taking 2-3 trips in the past year, and 27% taking four or more trips.

More than 8 out of 10 duty free shoppers of both sexes visit the alcohol category, higher than the others categories of beauty, confectionery, tobacco, fashion/accessories and jewelry/watches; but 80% of visitors go on to purchase a beauty item, says the CIR research. This percentage rises to 84% among female shoppers.

Tobacco appeals to Tier 1 shoppers more than expected, whereas Tier 2 shoppers have a strong propensity to purchase confectionery and jewelry & watches.

Another highlight of the report indicates that70% of Chinese travelers say their spend on duty free is higher now than two years ago, primarily due to more frequent travel and taking advantage of cheaper prices in duty free.

The report is a fresh perspective on the important Chinese shopper and comes at a time when traveler numbers are soaring.

“The Chinese are the fourth most travelled nationality, with over 65m flight passengers in 2016, an increase of +17% on the previous year, higher than any other in the top 30 list of traveling nationalities,” says Stasiulevicuis.

CiR’s forecasting data predict that Chinese international flight passengers will have increased by +38% to 90m by 2025, indicating that Chinese shoppers will continue to be a key nationality for the duty free and travel retail channel in future.