The younger travellers of the Middle East and Africa have a very different mindset to their parents and grandparents, and if duty free and travel retail is to remain relevant, the industry needs to understand this new tech-savvy generation.
At this morning’s MEADFA Conference, leading social media strategist Andrew Davis said that while we live in a digital age, some fundamentals remain the same. We still need something to sell, we still need somewhere to sell it, and we still need someone to sell it to. But what is changing on a daily basis is human behaviour, and technology.
To attract the attention of a new generation of digital natives, the key questions we have to ask are what type of content can we create, how can we distribute that content to the relevant people and what can we get those people to do. Digital natives are motivated to buy in different ways. Young consumers base their decisions on price, quality and value, but most importantly, convenience.
John McDonnell of Tito’s Handmade Vodka also agreed that the new generation has new priorities. In his opinion, these are digital convenience, social responsibility and sustainability.
Dr Samar Baqer, who is a professor of the College of Business Administration at Kuwait University, said that if the duty free and travel retail industry is to attract Generation Z shoppers, they need to be aware of the characteristics of this generation and respond to them. We need to focus on the experience, offer exclusivity, engage through social media, mobile applications and offer digital service, and we also need to provide outstanding brands.