CANNES, France — Harnessing emerging digital platforms to service the savvy, connected consumer was the central focus at the TFWA Digital Village, a new 9,330-square-foot area next to the Palais des Congrès in Cannes, France.
DutyBuddy, for one, is an emerging social commerce platform catering primarily to Millennials, according to cofounder Cenk Akerson. The app lets people alert friends — through social platforms — of travel plans, so as to be able to preorder products for them.
The system allows for travelers to show the bar code of the prepurchased product at an airport store to pick it up. DutyBuddy also aims to be a data provider, mining stats about best-selling products, consumer patterns and geographic preferences. It is already live in North Cyprus.
Another digital solution on display in Monaco, at Luxe Pack running from Oct. 2 to 4, was Aptar’s “connected samples,” which help clients track their return on investment.
Called Imagin Connected, they’re ultrathin and flat spray devices — created with start-up Mypack Connect — to be digitally flashed to link to an online platform. There, people can glean further information, order a product or anything else a brand has in mind.
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“We are convinced that in two years [everything will] be like that,” said Sabine Bouillet-Lubot, strategic marketing manager for fragrance, gmd beauty at Aptar.
AOE, which digitizes brick-and-mortar business models, was at TFWA’s Digital Village, too.
“What we’ve done here is basically digitalize the entire nonaviation stream revenues for airports,” said Manuel Heidler, director of aviation products, adding the retailer is being plugged into the airport’s platform. “The whole thing is about creating a seamless journey.”
The idea is one that appeals to brands. “The notion of the middleman, between the brand and the consumer, is changing,” said Christian Laurent, head of travel retail at Groupe Clarins. “For us, it means we have to think about our commercialization — what will be the organization of tomorrow.”
Already in Korea and China, the group’s products can be purchased in brick-and-mortar locations and picked up at an airport.
“We have to be obsessed with giving our customers greater convenience in travel retail,” said Vincent Boinay, managing director of travel retail worldwide at L’Oréal.