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Young generations show high potential for cruise retail development


m1nd-set’s 2023 research on the cruise sector highlights travel and shopping trends among young travellers, which point to a highly positive outlook for cruise retail over the coming years.

The research sets out to answer several key questions about shopper behaviour on cruise ships, including which are the major source markets and destinations, who is shopping on cruises, why, and what for, what motivates cruise travellers to visit the shops while on a cruise and what do they purchase and how can stakeholders best reach out to cruise shoppers prior to purchase? The analysis identifies certain noteworthy differences and outlier behaviour among younger generations; cruise retail is set to benefit significantly if these differences are taken into account, according to m1nd-set.

‘Younger travellers’, defined as the Millennials and the older bracket of the GenZ travellers (25+) are demonstrating they represent enormous potential for the growth of the cruise and cruise retail sector, the research outlines, both in terms of their desire to holiday on cruise ships and their shopping behaviour on board, according to this latest research from the Swiss travel and travel retail research agency. 88% of Millennials who have taken a cruise vacation already plan to go on a cruise again. Gen-Zs are less enthusiastic about repeating the holiday experience, but the number of repeat cruise vacationers is still strong at 78% among this generation.

m1nd-set owner and CEO Dr. Peter Mohn commented on the research: “The potential young travellers present to the cruise sector is particularly evident for cruise retail – both in the present and future – when we study their shopping behaviour. Firstly, we see that younger generations visit the shops more frequently during a cruise trip than other generations. The average number of shop visits during the cruise increased to 3.2 this year but younger generations made 3.6 visits to the shops during the cruise journey. They also spend more time in the shops – 52% of younger travellers spent more than 45 minutes in the shop compared to the average of 35%.”

Younger travellers also plan their purchases more than the average traveller, according to the research. 94% of younger travellers plan their purchases compared to the average across all age groups of 88%. The research highlights how younger generations demonstrate outlier behaviour in particular through their category purchases, in comparison to all age groups. 60% of younger shoppers said they purchased Perfumes this year, compared to an average of 43%. Similar differences are seen for Food and Confectionery purchases and Souvenirs and Gift items. 28% of all shoppers purchased Food & Confectionery in 2023, compared to 39% among younger shoppers, while 20% of younger cruisers purchased Souvenirs and Gift items compared to the average of 13%.

Engagement is also higher among younger travellers, whether with staff or communications touch points in general. 73% of all cruise shoppers said they noticed touch points before shopping, but this is even greater among younger shoppers, 80% of whom noticed communications touch points before shopping. They are also more likely to take note of the promotions in the cruise retail space; 45% noticed a promotion compared to 39% among all shoppers. Staff interaction for the younger generations is also more common and more impactful among younger generations on cruise ships. 88% of younger travellers say they interacted with the staff, compared to 81% of cruise shoppers across all age groups. 93% of younger travellers say their purchase was influenced by the interaction with the staff compared to 83% across all age groups. Younger shoppers place great importance on testing, trying and touching the products; 82% said they tried and tested products prior to purchase compared to 73% among all cruise shoppers.

Peter Mohn explained: “The research clearly demonstrates the quite unique behaviour of younger travellers. Not only are Millennials and Gen Zs growing in size in terms of their share of the travelling population, they are also spending more time and money inside the stores and more likely to see all pre-travel and pre-shopping information than older generations.

“Their behaviour in terms of media consumption, Mohn continued, “is also quite different to their parents and grandparents, particularly for Gen Zs. Much can be gained from deeper study of these highly important and high-potential shopper segments. As Millennials and Gen Zs age they will continue to dominate the focus of travel retail insights and marketing managers, and rightly so.” Mohn concluded.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.