CANNES, France — There’s a marked rise in the use of digital for sealing the deal in travel retail.

“The digital element is key,” said Markus Stauss, marketing director of travel retail and export worldwide at Coty Inc.

“We are partnering with digital much more with the retailer platforms,” continued Philippe Margueritte, Coty’s vice president of global travel retail and Latam.

“Digital is important in terms of being a new means of communication with the consumers,” said Cedric Prouvé, group president of international at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. “We see a development of online preorder. So before you travel, if you are worried you are not going to have enough time or they might not have the product that you want, you can order it online and then pick up your bag at the airport.”

“Digital gives us the opportunity to do our own marketing” as early as when a person decides to go on a trip, continued Olivier Bottrie, the company’s president of travel retailing worldwide.

Geo-targeting might not yet be a reality, but it could be a possibility with the right technology.

“You can tell where people are in airports and say, ‘Have you done your duty-free shopping?’ or ‘We have this event going on,’” said Prouvé.

With the advent of onboard Wi-Fi, it is conceivable to shop while on a plane and pick up purchased products on arrival at a destination, he added.

Outside of the virtual world, Gebr. Heinemann is testing a home-delivery concept in Hamburg.

“You can choose in the [airport] store and we send [the product] to your home provided you have a boarding pass or a booking number,” said Kay Spanger, a member of the airport operator’s board. “We think there is potential. [The idea] mainly comes out of the wine and liquor business.”

For its part, Ferragamo Parfums — in part to communicate more with young consumers — is thinking of moving even 50 percent of its communications investment from TV to digital in China, according to Luciano Bertinelli, the company’s chief executive officer.

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