By delivering premium omnichannel customer experiences

The 2020 global pandemic is a defining moment in world history from a health standpoint and from an economic standpoint. Among the travel restrictions and border closures international travel has all but ground to a halt, and along with it, travel retail spending. IATA charts a 55% decline in airline revenues Y/Y for the period of January to June 2020. Bain and Company are projecting a slow recovery at 75% for 2021 and we are beginning to see economies reopen cautiously. Among them the travel retail industry, a beloved in-person retail channel on a fast track, or shall we say “one-way flight” to the future of retail.

The rebound of the travel retail industry will need to quickly embrace the increased customer expectation of a seamless, omnichannel experience where the customer determines how they interact with the brand. Many successful brands and retailers have robust digital channels that complement physical locations. However, pre COVID-19 the experiences across digital and physical channels were not always a seamless experience, as staff were not always equipped to quickly pivot and support customer preferences, resulting in choppy customer experiences, lost sales, and diminished branding moments. With much of retail business transitioning to digital during this crisis, the customer expectation of a seamless experience has increased, and dramatically so. Retailers and brands have an immediate opportunity to better connect with their customer through well-trained staff and better-integrated brand moments that includes digital information.

There is no better way to accelerate our industry’s recovery than to ensure customers are provided with not just a seamless omnichannel experience, but a premium experience built around their preferences. In this model, digital promotions are used to drive brand engagement from home to destination and back again. The in-store experience becomes a premium touchpoint on this journey, facilitated by highly skilled salespeople who can easily transition between channels and bring that quality brand connection to life. The result is a delightful and loyal customer with consistent brand experience and optimizes sales for the brand.

The key to making this magic happen? Outstanding, highly trained sales teams who are passionate about the brands they represent and the customers they serve. The branding narrative will be built on personalized, genuine engagement, and reinforced brand ethos. This will require an investment into training and education including compelling assurances around health and safety. Most importantly the permission for the sales staff to validate the omnichannel consumer behaviour and to pivot between the channels to ultimately secure a most informed purchase decision. The expectation for this level of talent and professionalism will remain with the well supported front-line team in our industry, the amazing sales superheroes and loyalty specialists.

Omnichannel graphic

The Road to Recovery – Virtual Travel Retail Expo

June 9th, 2020|Moodie Davitt Report|

Throughout the live 5-day Virtual Travel Retail Expo 2020, the Symposium Hall and Workshop Rooms will host industry dialogue around the theme ‘Road to Recovery’, exploring how the travel retail channel will (or should) look in the future. The powerful line-up of speakers includes our very own Heidi Van Roon.

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Airport Update - June 2020 For an interactive Coronavirus Travel Restrictions Map – bookmark this amazing IATA link to see the country by country travel restrictions:   In our March Market Update, we included a snapshot of current capital projects

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