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(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.

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Decoding the digital shopper

The digital revolution is affecting all industries, but it is particularly evident in highly competitive market segments like travel retail. 

December 2015 | by Julia Padgett, Communications Director

Creating an omni-channel shopping experience is set to become a necessity for the industry. Yet with all the existing knowledge and data companies have on the online shopper, the reality is that most brands and retailers fall short of shoppers’ increasingly high expectations.

Global management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company suggest that we must first “crack the shopper genome” * to deliver an interconnected customer experience for the digital savvy shopper.

Mapping the digital shopper’s DNA requires us to convert existing data into meaningful insights across all seven touchpoints:

  1. Internet display advertising 
  2. Email
  3. Mobile advertising
  4. Search
  5. Shopping engines
  6. Social media
  7. Video

Of course, digital media has been part of the retail process for many years; the difference now is that the technology is in the hands of the shoppers, not just the retailers.

This has resulted in the showrooming and webrooming trends that we reported on recently, as an on-demand society uses some or most of the seven touchpoints to complete their own tailored shopper journey.

The loyalty loop

Understanding the customer decision journey is key. A cyclical process helps brands and retailers to reach consumers at different stages of the journey: from initial consideration and the moment of purchase, to a product and service evaluation and then back around again in a loyalty loop**. This is dependent on many characteristics; including:

- digital channel preferences (e.g. email, social media, video, etc.)

- demographics and needs (e.g. gender, income level, purchase intent, etc.)

- life moments and context (e.g. why are they travelling today?)

- product affinity (e.g. style, price point, etc.)

- response to offers (e.g. money off vouchers, loyalty cards, etc.) *

The loyalty loop concept empowers brands and retailers. It gives them an accurate view of where their shopper is in the decision making process, their attitudes towards a particular brand and their intentions for being in that shop at that moment in time. Post-purchase behaviour can also determine whether the customer will return and the content that can be sent their way to keep them enticed.

Currently, when a customer walks into a bricks and mortar travel retail store, the retailer is unlikely to know where the shopper is in their journey. Recent digital innovations have generated ways of delivering a personalised experience when in-store – with digital applications, real-time promotions and digital screens in the shopper’s own language – but the communication channels are not as cohesive as they could be.

Individually, each digital and physical retail platform is valuable; integrating them along the entire journey is the best way to add real value for both the retailer and the customer. The industry needs to create a complete picture of the shopper to fully make the most of the omni-channel opportunity.

What’s next?

Creating a collaborative, emotive and fulfilling shopping experience is achievable with today’s technology, but it is set to become even more attainable.

72% of shoppers believe that wearable technology will be the future of retail***; this includes smart watches, wristbands, fobs, stickers and smart clothing. Aside from speeding up the payment process, wearable technology is able to offer brands and retailers real-time information about each shopper’s needs to tailor the shopping experience more efficiently.Technology advances are putting more data and information into the hands of brands and retailers, and the opportunity to transform shopping experiences lies with them.

Once travel retail has decoded the digital shopper, the possibilities to bridge the gaps between valuable insights and meaningful moments are endless. 








If unspecified: CiR database.