m1nd-set: Latin America and the Caribbean Gen Z shoppers are the highest spenders in travel retail

A detailed presentation of Latin America & Caribbean shopper and air traffic research was presented by Swiss-based research agency m1nd-set at the annual ASUTIL conference, where m1nd-set CEO & Owner Dr. Peter Mohn revealed that the younger generations from the Latin America and Caribbean region are the highest spenders in travel retail.

Gen Zs spend the most with an average of $135, despite below average footfall and conversion.  Millennials follow in second place with $129 spend across all categories in travel retail. Footfall among Millennials is in line with the global average but they have a tendency to purchase more than the global average in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

According to the research, business travelers are also among the higher spending shopper segments, also at $129. While they tend to have above average footfall, conversion among business travelers is below average.

The research also highlights spend by nationality, revealing minor differences across nationalities. The highest spenders are the Colombians at $126, with Brazilians in second place at $119.

Travelers from the U.S. spend $120 when shopping in Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexicans spend $110 and shoppers from Canada, spend $101.

In terms of footfall and conversion by nationality, the research reveals that Mexicans and Colombians tend to visit the shops less but purchase more frequently than average, while travelers from Brazil, the U.S. and Canada visit the shops more than the average but show a below-average conversion.

Purchase motivations

     Understanding what motivates travelers to purchase in duty free is one of the most sought-after criteria by clients, according to m1nd-set.      

The Latin America & Caribbean traveler research reveals that killing time, convenience, lower prices, variety of choice and product authenticity are the main reasons why the Duty Free shopping experience appeals to Latin American and Caribbean shoppers.

m1nd-set CEO and Owner Dr. Peter Mohn presents at ASUTIL.

Purchase drivers

When grouping together the key purchase drivers, says Mohn, the in-store experience scores higher than ‘value’ with 50% of shoppers from the region citing ‘experience’, 7 points higher than ‘value’, at 43%.

Suitability is the third main net purchase driver cited by 38% of Latin American and Caribbean shoppers.

Taking each purchase driver individually, good value for money is the top purchase driver (25%), followed by convenience (23%), brand loyalty (19%), sufficient dwell time (17%) and the suitability of the shopping experience for self-indulgence (15%).


Influencing factors

Another important shopping criteria is the influencing factors that impact the purchase decision.

Among Latin American and Caribbean shoppers these range from the unique nature of the products and promotions, to touch points including the staff. Promotions and exclusives as well as new and unique products are also important influencers.

Just over half (52%) of shoppers from the region say they purchased a product on promotion, 56% of shoppers said they purchased a duty free exclusive, and 61% of shoppers said they purchased a product they had never purchased before.

One of the main touchpoints and influencers for shoppers in travel retail is the in-store sales staff, who are invariably highly influential, irrespective of the passenger’s region or nationality, according to m1nd-set.

     The research agency reports that the tendency to interact with sales staff is higher than the global average for shoppers from Latin America and the Caribbean (54% vs 48%), however the impact of the interaction is less effective among regional shoppers. Just less than two thirds of Latin American and Caribbean shoppers reported a positive impact from the interaction, which is somewhat lower than the global average of 71%.

“This shows a concrete potential area of improvement to increase the shopping basket,” says m1nd-set.


Poor value?

  Commenting on how stake-holders can improve performance with shoppers from the Latin America and Caribbean region, Mohn said: “We see that shoppers from the region consider the travel retail offer as poor value.

     “Higher prices and, to a certain extent, uninspiring products and sales are the top barriers to purchase, which are leading shoppers to purchase in other retail channels.

     “This is also evident from the fact that price comparison is higher among non-buyers than buyers,” Mohn continued.

“We see a below average purchase rate and limited exposure to touchpoints by travelers from the region before arriving at the airport; the intention to shop is therefore limited.

“We recommend that stakeholders invest in more targeted and more effective digital campaigns to ensure higher exposure to pre-trip influencing factors. This will not only positively impact footfall but also lead to greater purchase intention and ultimately higher conversion rates,” concluded Mohn.