NPD Travel Retail Logo

Welcome to NPD Travel Retail

(formerly Counter Intelligence Retail)

We specialize in global traveler statistics, data driven insight, and activating against trends for all major categories sold in duty free and travel retail.

Skip to main content

‘Men buy, women shop’ in the beauty category CiR reveal

Exclusive insights from CiR's recently launched series of global beauty reports, which provide a unique insight into shopper motivations and purchase behaviours across the beauty category in travel retail.

Based on studies conducted across 15 international airports in key global regions, as well as over 7,000 one-to-one interviews with beauty shoppers, the new research successfully identifies shopper profiles for the industry to focus on; such as the characteristics of the male and female shopper.

As expected, men and women interpret brands, products and promotions differently; what CiR’s latest insights have identified are the best ways for travel retail to address these differences to ensure its offering is commercially and creatively relevant.

The ‘male versus female’ beauty shopper findings include:

Travel retail exclusives appeal more to female beauty shoppers

Be it multi-buys or limited edition must-haves, if it is in any way exclusive to the travel retail channel, the female beauty shopper is more likely to be interested in it.

Many women are loyal to beauty brands that they know and trust, so finding an exclusive version of a product or a brand that already resonates with them makes the shopping experience that bit more special.

Male beauty shoppers also have their preferred brands, but are less drawn to the exclusivity of travel retail products if their ‘usual’ product is also available.

Female beauty shoppers are more likely to think that prices in travel retail are cheaper than at home

There are many ways for shoppers to compare travel retail and domestic prices; whether pre-store visit or when in the store.

Female beauty shoppers tend to consider the perceived value of the product, not just the price tag, so believe that prices in travel retail are reasonable, if not cheaper, than at home.

Male beauty shoppers focus on the price tag, and generally think they can get a better price on the domestic market.

On average, female beauty buyers purchase more items than male shoppers – but male shoppers spend more per item

As many beauty purchases in travel retail are pre-planned, female beauty shoppers intend to shop the products on their list from the moment they enter the travel retail store.

Male beauty shoppers choose one or two products to purchase from the category and then tend to head to the till-point, or another category, rather than browsing other products in beauty.

Male beauty shoppers buy beauty items as a gift, or on request, more than female shoppers

The beauty category is one of the most popular to buy gifts for loved ones, as well as self-treats.

Male beauty shoppers will mostly buy gifts because they recognise the brands on offer, plus the value of the gift makes it slightly more special. They can also ask brand ambassadors for help and advice if they have been asked to buy certain products for loved ones back at home.

Female beauty shoppers take the opportunity to treat themselves, as well as loved ones, when shopping the beauty category in travel retail.

45% of male beauty gift buyers are more likely to purchase for their partner or spouse

As many female beauty shoppers are loyal to certain brands and products, it’s likely that the male beauty shopper is aware of which brands his partner or spouse uses – which makes for a successful gift to purchase in travel retail.

Discover more about the male and female beauty shopper, as well as the beauty category’s other leading shopper profiles, in CiR’s comprehensive global beauty reports. The research is available now in ready-to-buy versions for each of the study’s 15 key airports; featuring London Heathrow, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney and Rio de Janeiro. Regional reports are also obtainable, along with individual nationality reports for the Chinese, American, Indian, British, Brazilian, Australian, Argentinian and Danish beauty shopper.

These reports can be customised to highlight and respond to specific business objectives. For sample pages and further report content information please click here.

For more information, please visit: or email: