Travellers prioritise Immersive Experiences

As global travel rebounds, Abhijit Das discusses the transformation in airport retail strategies to cater to a new era of travelers who value experiences over mere transactions. With a focus on digital integration and exclusive offerings, Delhi Duty Free is adapting to cater to diverse tastes and preferences, ensuring memorable shopping experiences for every traveler.

New Update
Abhijit Das, Head Marketing, Delhi Duty Free Services (DDFS)

As global travel begins to peak and airports offer unique shopping experiences, especially when it comes to alcoholic beverages, the ones who manage such stores need to understand the importance of understanding customer behaviour given the fact that people of different geographical regions have different requirements and concerns. In this overall scheme of things, Abhijit Das, Head Marketing, Delhi Duty Free Services (DDFS), explains the strategies that evolve out of absorbing paradigm shifts in travel retail experience amidst changing consumer dynamics.

In the wake of the pandemic, alcohol beverage producers have witnessed a significant shift in the preferences of Indian travellers, especially the new-age travellers, who place a premium on experiences. This discerning group prioritises immersive and memorable shopping experiences, seeking not just products but also stories and connections. Moreover, the emergence of Generation Alpha and a rise in solo travellers, who previously travelled less, are driving substantial changes in shopping behaviour in India's travel retail environment.

Additionally, the increase in travellers from tier B, C and D cities venturing abroad has brought about a diverse mix of tastes and preferences, further shaping the dynamics of India's travel retail. Given this scenario, there are some key changes that airport travel retail operators are making to offer better shopping experiences. For instance, they are innovating to enhance the shopping experience, leveraging digital advancements, personalised services and exclusive offerings. Delhi Duty Free Services (DDFS) is at the forefront of this transformation.

"We prioritise a wide range across core categories and subcategories, constantly experimenting with new ranges and offering exclusive India launches. Moreover, we are committed to enhancing exclusive services like Shop Collect, Click and Collect, and ensuring a world-class online shopping experience through our website," informs Abhijit Das. This dedication to providing a world-class retail experience is underscored by his highly trained and knowledgeable retail team who understand that exceptional shopping experiences in travel retail require a seamless blend of convenience, variety and personalised service.

Value of Experience

"Through strategic partnerships, product showcases and promotional events, we introduce new and exciting offerings, providing travellers with unique and memorable experiences.

These initiatives not only showcase our commitment to offering exceptional products but also reinforce our dedication to delivering personalised and exclusive experiences to our customers," says Abhijit.

The team leverages advanced analytics to analyse purchasing patterns, allowing it to anticipate demand and tailor product assortments accordingly. Furthermore, its commitment to customer-centricity extends to seeking direct feedback from its customers through various channels, including surveys, focus groups and social media platforms. This invaluable input helps it gain insights into consumer preferences, expectations and shopping behaviours. Also, by strategically positioning products, creating visually appealing displays and optimising traffic flow, the team at DDFS aims to create an immersive and intuitive shopping environment that resonates with the customers.

Product Management

Leveraging advanced technology, DDFS employs auto internal replenishment systems and external replenishment software to streamline inventory and offering management. These cutting-edge tools, coupled with world-class category management teams, enable it to efficiently procure and manage the liquor inventory.

"By staying attuned to evolving consumer preferences, we continually introduce new alcohol beverage categories, ensuring that our offerings remain fresh and exciting. Whether it is showcasing exclusive launches or curating unique experiences, we strive to exceed the expectations of our discerning travellers, making DDFS a destination of choice for premium liquor selections and unparalleled shopping experiences," is how Abhijit puts it.

Need for Incentives

The prospect of an increase in alcoholic beverage purchase allowance at arrivals and departures holds promise for both liquor producing companies and travellers. The current allowance of up to 2 litres of alcohol duty-free upon arrival in India and the value cap of Rs 52,000 for duty-free purchases may benefit from revision to better align with present-day market dynamics. If such revisions were to occur, they would likely stimulate demand and encourage travellers to explore a wider range of products, benefiting both domestic and international brands.

"With increased purchase limits, travellers would have the opportunity to make more purchases, contributing to increased revenue for alcoholic beverage companies," Abhijit concurs. Moreover, a revised allowance could potentially lead to a shift in purchasing behaviour, with travellers opting to purchase more alcoholic products in India rather than abroad. This would also provide travellers with greater convenience and savings.