Latest DFWC KPI Monitor underlines the importance of differentiation

DFWC KPIs Q1 2017-1


International travelers want uniqueness and differentiation in the travel retail offer, marking them as key satisfaction drivers in the latest DFWC KPI Monitor. The Q1 2017 monitor, produced in partnership with Swiss based research and consultancy agency m1nd-set, also shows that value for money remains the most important satisfaction driver.

New and different products are among the top 5 satisfaction drivers in the latest Monitor, which the World Duty Free Council says demonstrates the need for retailers and brands to innovate and rethink their product mix and merchandizing strategy in travel retail.

Respondents to the survey also want more travel related items, a new entry this quarter in the top 5 criteria impacting overall satisfaction with the duty free shopping experience.

DFWC’s President Frank O’Connell comments: “The good news is that the Monitor shows the industry is improving in the three areas that are emerging as key satisfaction drivers. The percentage of travellers who agree with each of the statements that Duty Free is “a truly different experience” (30% agree), a “great place to try new brands” (27% agree) and a place to find “exclusive and unique products” (25% agree) has increased consistently over the past four quarters.

“There is still room for further improvement, however, as the survey also reveals that 43% of global travellers state they are “more motivated to buy duty free exclusives” further underlining the importance of a differentiated product offer.”

The overall satisfaction index has improved by one point for the global average (62) as well as regionally across Asia (64), Europe (59) and South America (61). However, it has remained unchanged this quarter in the Middle East (62) and North America (61).

New this quarter, the Monitor highlights both the key reasons why travelers choose not to visit duty free shops and the reasons given for not buying among those who enter the shops. The main reason cited for not visiting the shops is unwillingness to carry more items. Prices compared to domestic market, lack of motivating promotions and lack of affordable products also feature among reasons given for not visiting. This suggests that retailers need more communication on promotions and the value added of travel exclusives to attract more travelers into stores.

M1nd-set’s CEO Peter Mohn says that the importance of price perception and unique and exclusive products are clearly underlined as reasons for not shopping even after entering the stores.

“Lack of promotions and high prices compared to home and destination markets feature among these key reasons. Similarly, the lack of duty free exclusives, suitable gifting products, new and interesting products, and suitable souvenirs are all key reasons cited for not purchasing,” adds Mohn.

The report is compiled from interviews with over 4000 travelers at airports across all major world regions during Q1 2017. More detailed data on the regional disparities for each aspect studied in the Monitor is available from m1nd-set upon request (

DFWC KPIs Q1 2017-3