The way shoppers interact within the confines of an airport have shifted significantly over the years. At one time airports were limited to souvenir shops and convenience stores, but the renewed focus on airport retail and varied concessions means there are more options for people to spend their time and money while they wait for their flights.
The holiday season undoubtedly means an increase in air travel. To gain a better understanding of airport spending habits during the holidays, FreedomPay commissioned a survey of 2,500 air travelers in the UK.
The survey uncovered a variety of airport shopping trends during the busy travel season:
Travelers spend one-third of their total airport time on shopping:
On average, survey respondents claim to spend 98 minutes at the airport before boarding their flight, with 29 of those minutes dedicated to duty free and/or retail shopping. Those who live in Scotland and London tend to spend the least amount of time at the airport prior to their flights, at 85 and 90 minutes respectively. Interestingly, travelers aged 18 to 34 years old spend the least amount of the time at the airport and the most amount of time in duty free shops, while travelers over 55 years old spend the most amount of time at the airport prior to their flight and the least amount of time in duty free shops.
The average spend at airports is around £60 ($76)
It’s not surprising that travelers aged 18-34 who spend the most amount of time in duty free shops are accountable for the highest spending levels, around £94 ($120). Regionally, people who live in Scotland tend to spend most at airports than any other region, around £82 ($104). Though men and women spend in different areas, men on average spend 20 percent more than women.
Food and beverage top airport sales overall, but young people spend more on retail goods While at the airport, visitors tend to spend the most on restaurants and beverages, followed by books and magazines, beauty and fragrance, and confectionary. Spend on gifts, luxury items, fashion and accessories spikes among those under 34 years old. In general, men are more likely to spend on alcohol, while women are more likely to prioritize confectionary.
Multiple ways to pay makes spending easier for travelers
The top methods of payments by travelers are debit cards at 87 percent, cash at 84 percent and credit cards at 60 percent. It was uncovered that airport customers find discounts and ease of payment most important in their shopping experience, followed by cash. It is important to note that one in four travelers under the age of 24 years old list e-payments in their top three forms of payment.
Airport restaurants and retailers that make it easy for customers to pay quickly and easily with multiple payment options will clearly fare better than those who don’t. The FreedomPay Commerce Platform ensures payments are processed faster, simpler and safer, ensuring travelers spend more shopping and less time waiting in line. Merchants using FreedomPay’s PCI validated, Point to Point Encryption (P2PE) Commerce Platform have a better understanding of travelers shopping habits and preferences, and as a result, can provide loyalty promotions and rewards targeted to their customer’s preferences.
FreedomPay operates in more than 100 airports in North America including all major hubs such as JFK, Houston and Philadelphia. If you are interested in learning more about FreedomPay’s capabilities, contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.