Airports Capitalise on Global Events

The airport retail market is extremely lucrative, airport retailers are guaranteed footfall and don’t have the same battle as other retailers are having with technology. Passengers don’t need to be motivated to travel to the stores – they’re coming, they have a ‘golden hour’ wait time in-between security and going to gate, and stores and bars are the first port of call!

To make sure airports are capitalising on the high footfall consistently and maximising revenue potential, retailers need to get creative with their marketing campaigns by utilising global events. Events that people are travelling to are a great focus for retail campaigns; sporting events such as the Euro’s or the Olympics; music festivals; fashion weeks; anything that drives tourism will increase the number of travellers, increasing the number of shoppers, giving retailers an opportunity to grow sales!

Digital technology and signage allow retailers to keep up with current and topical events without investing high costs on short term promotions. They can easily be changed and tweaked in order to capture the interest of the travellers each day, for example, competitions such as the Euro’s can be updated so the campaign is focused on the teams going through to the next round.

The size of airports and the volume of floor space open the opportunity for RMU’s and pop-up campaigns. These can be strategically placed, with the knowledge that passengers have to pass through on their way to gate. Another consideration is the layout of the retailers within the airport – walk through stores are a great way to capture impulse buyers, clear strong promotions using global events within advertisements are a great way to catch the passenger’s eyes and lift sales. Walkthrough stores usually generate levels of sales of some 10% to 20% above traditional stores.

Mobile applications are a more recent marketing tactic, but a great one to exploit. When passengers connect to the Wi-Fi often you can obtain data including their contact number, this enables you to run SMS competitions and promotions using imagery of upcoming events to grab their attention.

“Today, over one in ten European travellers look forward to shopping at airport shops.” Richard Perks, Director of Retail Research at Mintel. Heathrow has on average 205,400 passengers passing through each day, if one in ten is looking to shop, that’s a strong number of sales, and if airport retailers incorporate upcoming events into their marketing campaigns to incentivise and attract passengers to spend, airport retail performance will continue to go from strength to strength.

Alex Rowbottom, Director, Foundation Recruitment

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