Solving Travel Retail’s Footfall Problem – Harison’s Move for the Cause

We all know that Travel Retail has a problem creating customers. Passenger numbers are rising around the world, but footfall in travel retail stores is not keeping pace, which means that the industry is missing out on thousands – even millions – of potential shoppers.

Harison Chocolate believe that exclusivity and a unique offer – something only available in travel retail – is key to increasing spend. But first shoppers must be brought into the store.

That is why Harison has taken the bold and unprecedented step of reaching out to potential shoppers in the domestic market and interacting with them during their daily lives in a drive which delivers around 6 million people a month and scores engagement rates of 90% in some markets.

Moving on, and in the run up to Cannes week Harison-Chocolate

Harison has embarked on a multi-channel, paid-for media campaign across multiple locations which incorporates facebook, Google, Youtube, radio, out-of-home and influencers’ marketing to increase engagement and awareness among potential travellers and shoppers.

The power of media outreach like this cannot and should not be underestimated. In one month, Harison’s digital campaign put the brand in direct contact with more than 3.5 million people, while the radio spots have a potential further audience of almost 1.5 million people a week. Social media has made influencers a vital choice in any campaign, and Harison worked with 10 to bring the brand into contact with a further 800,000 users across facebook and Instagram – with every post garnering thousands of likes and developing the brand’s online presence.

Influencers: front of mind for Harison
Influencers: front of mind for Harison

A media campaign like this is putting the brand and the travel retail market in front of millions of people – something arguably the market sector cannot afford to overlook. In fact, since its campaign launch in July, Harison’s digital outreach across facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google has been seen more than 5 million times.

Importantly, of those, more than 370,000 clicked on the ad to interact directly with the brand. With a click-through rate of more than 7%, this means that Harison’s campaign far outstrips the average click-through rate of about 2%.

This success is largely down to two things: uniqueness and sensible strategic deployment. Arguably both of these advantages the wider travel retail industry could – and should – be making the most of.

Exclusivity is a key tenant of travel retail and a media campaign allows the industry to highlight the differentiation which will draw in new shoppers. If social media adverts display a product which browsers have not seen before, then they are more likely to click and engage. Once they do that, they are more likely to shop.

Interactivity is vital with a campaign like this. Google ads will receive a much higher impression rate – Harison’s campaign recorded more than 700,000 impressions from Google in Singapore in July alone – but the interactive nature of social media leads to much higher engagement rates.

Platforms like YouTube do offer a unique opportunity to give brands a voice and a personality which resonates with customers. For Harison, click-through rates from Youtube ads never fell below 40% and were upwards of 90% in Singapore for both July and August.

Harison’s other notable success has been targeting its campaign in the right areas. As with any paid-for advertising campaign, the company has wanted to maximise its investment. By rolling out its promotion in markets such as Abu Dhabi, where it holds top position in the confectionery category with DFS, as well as potent developing markets such as Delhi and London – which both have strong confectionery markets and large annual pax – Harison is clearly maximising the opportunity to engage with new shoppers.

Smart targeting was also a major factor in Harison’s development of its multi-lingual radio campaign in the UAE. This went out across two radio stations with an average of 10 spots each day. This unique medium for communicating with shoppers is often overlooked, but Harison’s campaign gave the brand 140 opportunities every week to speak directly to almost 1.5 million listeners.

Driving Harison Chocolate brand awareness vehicle branding trunblocked
Driving Harison Chocolate brand awareness

Along with the above, Harison Chocolate has taken another bold step. The company has moved beyond the digital sphere with a campaign of vehicle branding. Every day 10 pick-up vehicles travel across the UAE carrying the Harison branding.

As the Travel Retail industry faces more changes and challenges, as stakeholders we must be bold and innovative in our use of media opportunities – to better interact with customers and ensure that growing passenger numbers is at least matched by growth in travel retail revenues.