- Özgür Töre
A 2021 research study assesses the impact of Covid and the Covid vaccine on travel intentions and shopping behaviour in the post-Covid travel retail environment.
The research, which was conducted by Swiss research agency m1nd-set, was undertaken in January 2021 and carried out among 2500 travellers who used to fly at least twice per year before the Covid-19 outbreak and who were regular shoppers in Travel Retail.
According to the research, two-thirds of visitors are willing to receive the vaccine as soon as it is available and around one-third prefer to receive the vaccine after some time, but not immediately.
The impact on shopping and spending behaviour is detailed throughout the research and broken down into a number of key themes. These include the impact of Covid on the perception of the importance of different shopping aspects, such as sustainability, promotions or digital elements; the possible replacement of the Travel Retail channel by other shopping channels such as e-commerce; changes in travellers’ engagement with airport services and changes in habits at the airport; the impact of Covid on interaction with sales staff, on the willingness to try and test products; the preference for digital vs human interaction inside the store and the likelihood to shop online, pre order and use click and collect options.
The research reveals the behaviour among key shopper segments – including region, nationality, age and traveller type for example – with regards to the various topics studied. Chinese travellers for example are, according to the research, significantly more likely compared to the global average to want to have the vaccine (97% vs 93%). 59% of Chinese wish to receive the vaccine as soon as possible, slightly lower than the global average of 63%, while 38% say they wish to receive the vaccine after waiting a while, well above the global average (30%).
The research also demonstrates that international travellers who want to receive the vaccine as soon as possible also tend to be more likely to visit the Duty Free shops on future international air trips (67%) and to convert into buyers (also 67%).
Post-Covid vaccinated travellers to seek more sustainable shopping experiences and exclusives
Shopper behaviour among international travellers who want to receive the vaccine will evolve according to the m1nd-set Covid-vaccine research.
56% say they will purchase more products online, compared to 48% among those who do not want the vaccine. There will also be a marked shift towards a healthier lifestyle and more environmentally friendly consumer behaviour among international travellers willing to receive the vaccine.
56% say they will actively seek out high quality, naturally sourced and health-conscious products. 50% will pay more attention to the sustainability of the product packaging and 47% will be more attentive to the sustainability of the products themselves. Duty Free exclusives will be of more interest to this shopper segment also, with 46% of pro-vaccine travellers seeking out travel retail exclusives more than they did pre-Covid.
m1nd-set Owner & CEO Peter Mohn commented: “The research findings demonstrate that post-Covid shoppers among international travellers will be more discerning towards natural, organic and sustainably sourced and packaged products. Retailers and brand ambassadors will need to put significantly greater focus during staff training on these new aspects to ensure they are able to communicate these special values to the shoppers.”
“It won’t be enough simply to put it on the packaging, Mohn continued. “Our research shows that the story-telling aspect around a product carries enormous weight in the purchase decision making process. These ‘good news’ stories will enable retail staff and brand ambassadors to engage with customers in new ways and not only increase their understanding of the product, but also enhance the overall shopping experience with the knowledge that their purchase is also positive for the planet.”