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(formerly Counter Intelligence Retail)

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Gifting strategies could be key to unlocking Asian spending

With Chinese and some other Asian nationalities’ per-head spending moving off the highs seen in past years, duty free and travel retailers can still capture sales if they are prepared to invest in gifting opportunities. 

Insight from travel retail analyst, research and category expert, Counter Intelligence Retail suggests that – even if they are spending less – Asian shoppers in general remain gifting oriented when shopping in DF&TR, with 21% pointing to ‘a greater range of gifting solutions’ as a factor that would encourage them to buy, and 13% finding appeal in gift-wrapping services.

“Strongly highlighting gifting ranges across various categories and also making it clear that added-value gift services such as gift boxing and wrapping are available have the potential to drive increased conversion among Asian shoppers going forward,” says Garry Stasiulevicuis, President, Counter Intelligence Retail

The CiR data also indicate that prominent promotional offers (18%), and showcasing bestsellers (13%) via dedicated displays are in demand and should therefore also be prioritised when creating conversion strategies for Asian travellers. 

‘A clear opportunity to drive increased rates of footfall and purchasing’

 “This combination of attractions, led by gifting offers and services, can go a long way in persuading Asia Pacific travelling consumers into DF&TR stores in the first place,” says Stasiulevicuis. “Remember that while Asian nationalities visit DF&TR, stores slightly more (49% versus a global average of 46%) and are more likely to make a purchase (36% versus a global average of 29%), this still means that half of Asian travellers do not enter stores and more than a quarter of those that do leave without buying. There is therefore a clear opportunity to drive increased rates of footfall and purchasing.”

As well as promoting gifting ranges – perhaps in the concourse areas as well as inside the category spaces or at the store entrances – retailers must also conquer other barriers to crossing the shop threshold.

According to CiR, these include viewpoints from Asian travellers that they ‘do not need to buy anything’ (31%); ‘don’t have the time’ (18%); ‘do not want to be tempted’ (12%); and ‘don’t want to carry any more items’ (11%).  

Overcoming barriers

“Overcoming convenience-led barriers, such as carrying products can be solved through pre-order and home delivery services but overcoming more passive barriers, such as not needing to buy anything is tricky because it is a perception. But perceptions can often be changed with the right approach,” says Stasiulevicuis. 

“For example, by driving excitement in a category through interactive in-store activity or captivating special editions that build an impulse to buy, retailers can create new – even enduring – perceptions if they do it well and consistently.”

Further insight available from CiR's Chinese Shopper Report 2017

Stasiulevicuis adds: “The growth of the middle classes in the Asia region and China in particular, and the greater affordability of air travel, thanks in large part to low-cost airlines, is driving high growth in departing PAX – but it is also changing the face of the average traveller. These consumers have significantly less disposable income to spend on lavish gifts than duty free retailers have come to expect. Finding other ways to get their attention in stores – and as they are passing the stores – is therefore becoming a bigger priority.”

For further information on CiR's 2017 Chinese Shopper Report please contact: or visit: