Puig is the company behind beauty brands such as Christian Louboutin, Penhaligon’s, Byredo and Paco Rabanne.
Kaatje Noens, global travel retail executive vice president at Puig, believes that one of the most significant trends in travel retail is that travellers are getting younger.
She elaborated that beauty players like Puig have had to adapt to the new behaviours of this younger generation of travellers.
“The journey is different; they start way earlier, they look at a lot of social platforms, a lot of information sources. It actually gives us the opportunity to connect with them way earlier before they even get to the airport or the store – anywhere they are going during their travel.”
This has driven its brands to start attracting shoppers even before they begin their travels.
In December 2022, Christian Louboutin hosted its first shoppable livestream with celebrities Wang Fei Fei and TheNik. The two-hour session was broadcast across China Duty Free Group (CDFG) Sanya Weibo and WeChat platforms, amassing 11.2 million viewers.
“Before they even start travelling you have opportunities like live streaming to make sure that you expose new customers or older customers,” said Noens.
When they do start to travel, Noens emphasised the importance of bringing the ‘wow’ factor to these consumers, who have high expectations and were seeking the “thrill” of new experiences.
“During their travels, you got to amaze them… And so, we try to wow them and seduce them, offer them something unexpected, something new.”
Christian Louboutin, for instance, followed up on its livestreaming sessions with a funfair-themed pop-up, complete with Insta-worthy backdrops and gamification elements.
“Pop-up shops are an extremely engaging, different, and joyful moment to offer experiences to any kind of consumer profile. The ones that want to discover products, the ones that are wanting to discover gifts, the ones that just want to have a fun experience and post on Instagram,” said Noens.
'Know more than your cellphone'
Furthermore, with younger consumers being more informed and knowledgeable, beauty brands must offer top-notch services.
“The travellers today really are demanding a high level of service. So, gearing up our community, our staff members and making sure that they can address [consumer queries], that they know more than our cell phones is at the heart of making sure that that consumer journey is the way it's supposed to be.”
With its luxury fragrance brand Penhaligon's, it has developed the Magical Monocle application that helps consumers explore the brand and the ingredients its uses.
“This is the power of choice of offering people technology to discover on their own whenever they feel like or whatever they need, whether it's for their own purchase, or it's for a gift they want to offer to someone,” said Noens.
“We try to own the traveller journey. We offer them the power of choice, they decide how they want to get to know our brands or products, and we offer them unexpected experiences. And that's how we believe you can capture today's travelling consumer.”