m1nd-set report: global cruise shopping is “every marketer’s dream scenario”

In its latest report, Swiss research agency m1nd-set takes a close look at onboard cruise shop-ping and how it compares with shopping at airports, concluding that cruise shopping “is every marketers’ dream scenario.”

The m1nd-set research identified significant differences between international travelers shopping onboard cruise ships and in airports in terms of scale of business, passenger profile and the contextual differences, such as dwell time.

Some 65% of global cruise passengers plan to shop in the onboard duty free stores onboard their cruise, 20% more than the 45% of international travelers in airports who plan to shop duty free.

Price comparison is another differentiating factor: 80% of shoppers on cruise ships compare prices, while only 54% of global airport passengers compare prices when shopping.

But Travel Retail exclusives are significantly more important among cruise shoppers, with more than 7 out of 10 cruise shoppers purchasing exclusive items, almost 30% more than airport shoppers.

Self-indulgence is much more common among cruise passengers than those in airports; around 8 out of 10 cruise passengers purchase for themselves compared to only just over half of passengers in airports.

In contrast, 38% of shoppers in airports purchase for gifting, com-pared to only 10% of shoppers on cruise ships.

The m1nd-set report also underlines the significant variation in footfall and conversion rates between the cruise and airport retail channels due to the vastly different dwell time factors across each retail sector.

m1nd-set Travel Retail Research Director Clara Perez says that the increased dwell time of cruise retail presents highly favorable circumstances for increasing conversion rates:

“The cruise retail environment is perfect for understanding customer behavior and adapting the marketing and merchandising strategies. There are unparalleled opportunities for brands, together with the retailers, to fine-tune the product offer and convert passengers, particularly the non-shoppers, during the same journey, thanks to the multiple shopping visits that cruise passengers will make during the trip.”

Perez also notes that due to the time cruisers spend on board, combined with their desire for exclusive items and tendency to notice advertising for the cruise shopping offer allows ship retailers to test different strategies while the passengers are still on board.

“They can roll out different campaigns for specific high value products and fine tune the product and pricing offer based on customer insights and feedback gathered during the passengers’ time on the cruise ship,” she said.

“This is every marketers’ dream scenario,” she concludes.