Buy Duty Free - Online Purchasing Proving a Hit with Travellers by:Angela Butler
Trends in the travel market and how consumers are searching for and purchasing tourismproducts and services are trending towards an online environment. According to a recent survey, conducted by leading tourism agency IATA, there was a resounding result with over 80% of respondents indicating that they prefer to book and manage their travel online. Many tourism based businesses are reacting to these trends in consumer behaviour, with leading airlines investing heavily in Web 3.0 technologies, along with ancillary technology services such as mobile check-ins. Further research conducted by Com Score found that online consumer spending on travel rose 5% in January of 2010 alone, reinforcing the fact that those in the travel and tourism industries have to adjust to the new online environment that is fast becoming the new retail space.
One notable example in the travel industry of the innovative use of internet technologies is leading duty free stores. This has been achieved through the development and delivery of interactive websites that allow customers to peruse the near entire range of products on offer, while providing various methods of payment and delivery. This is proving very popular with travellers who are able to peruse the products and buy duty free online, from the comfort of their home prior to departure, as well as from any place that offers internet access during their overseas adventure.
However, global surveys conducted by Frommers, went further and investigated difficulties that tourists had in completing their purchases online. The research found that over 50% of all travellers have come across difficulties with website that are disorganised, confusing, inadequately constructed and do not focus on the ease of use. Furthermore, the survey highlighted that out of date content, misleading information and slow performing websites were a main cause of frustration, and a key reason for travellers to leave the website, discontinue perusing the range of products on offer and even halt the purchase process.
Leading duty free stores are well aware of the importance of providing a functional, usable and easy to navigate website that ensures that the customer has as much pleasure perusing and purchasing from the online store as they would in an in-store environment. With the ability to reliably and securely inspect the range of products and buy duty free in a relaxed environment, while taking advantage of the many specials on offer, has contributed towards making the online duty free store experience a preference for many travellers. With the emphasis on ease of use, buying duty free is simply a click away.
About the author
Angela Butler is currently the Consumer Marketing Manager for New Zealand and Australia at DFS Galleria and Duty Free stores. Angela specialises in retail and loyalty marketing and has extensive experience in both the liquor and beauty industries. She has produced award winning Fly Buys loyalty programme campaigns as well as receiving awards for other beauty loyalty programmes. DFS New Zealand