Global Shopper Connections 2 takes us on the journey of the international traveller. The study reveals the decision-making processes, habits and motivations of high-value shoppers; where and why they shop, what type of purchases they make and their favourite destinations for shopping.
The study presents 3 key strands that inform the Global Shopper’s journey:

Shopping as part of the travel experience

Shopping is the highlight of the trip for international travellers

Shopping habits in the Airport and the City

The shopping journey starts before the traveller arrives at the airport, whilst in the city and continues until their departure home.

Connection points with Global Shoppers and their key destinations

International shopping destinations continue to dominate but travellers expect to see familiar messaging for the brands they know well wherever they go.

Tourism and its impact on the media industry

Today, tourism is the third largest export category worldwide, contributing 10% of world GDP, and it is expected to continue to grow. Passenger traffic is forecast to double in the next two decades to 13 billion passengers per year in 2030 with 44 million every single day.*

The continual growth of the travel and tourism sector means that brands, need to effectively reach an increasingly international audience. Understanding global consumers and catering to their shopping expectations is essential. Being present in the international media scene and taking the opportunity to communicate and connect with the Global Shopper is paramount.

Travel means shopping

Shopping is a highlight activity when planning a trip abroad. Shopping can even dictate where and when people travel, with many planning trips to coincide with retail sales periods abroad. As shopping is part of the travel experience, travellers expect it to be more pleasurable, memorable and diverse than when shopping at home. 
67% pay attention to advertising when travelling, of which 98% notice Out-of-Home (OOH). OOH informs the Global Shopper of the products that are available and helps them understand the local culture. Some nationalities such as China, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, seek a kind of ‘reassurance of the familiar’ when they are abroad.
They welcome advertising that is similar to the ads they see in their home country and messaging in their own language.

Global Shoppers look to buy their favourite brands when abroad, even if they can buy them at home.

The exceptional receptiveness to advertising when travelling together with traveller expectations for localisation of advertising campaigns means that brands need to apply their understanding of the increasingly international audience to both campaign placement and the creative. There are great opportunities for brands to connect with their key audiences by showing their understanding of the international shopper.

Shopping at the airport and in the city

Shopping both at the airport and in the city is seen as a positive part of the travel experience. Over half of travellers set time aside to shop at the airport.
Products such as cosmetics, fragrances and alcohol are particularly popular purchases at the airport.

Once in the city, Global Shoppers spend most of their time out and about, often travelling around the city on foot or using public transport. This presents the perfect opportunity for OOH to connect with the shoppers in the locations where they are likely to be making their purchases, providing brand messaging at the last point of influence.

The global shopper’s destination of choice

Local shopping opportunities can even influence the final choice of destination. The study found various travel patterns for global shoppers when they travelled beyond their home region:

  • Travellers from Asia pick Los Angeles, Paris and London
  • Those from the Middle East fly to London and Mumbai
  • Europeans fly to New York and Dubai
  • American travellers choose London and Paris

JCDecaux Global Shopper Connections 2 Infographic: a Summary

About the Study

The Global Shopper Connections 2 study spans 12 countries, looking at the habits and motivations of upscale travellers who regularly shop when they travel abroad. The study covers six key purchasing categories: Fashion, Fragrances, Cosmetics, Shoes/Handbags, Sunglasses/Jewellery/Watches, Electronics.
  • Study carried out online, across 12 countries
  • 200 respondents in each country (The UK, France, Germany, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, USA)
  • Global sample of 2,400 respondents
  • Focus on high earners, earning at minimum 1.75 times the country’s median monthly household income
  • Regular international travellers: 58% fly 3 or more times per year
  • Shoppers across a range of product categories (whether at home or abroad)
  • Conducted in collaboration with MindSet, a research company with worldwide recognition and expertise in the areas of international travel and retail

*Source: WTTC / UNWTO 2016 ​​

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