© 2022 Airport Experience® News​

M1nd-Set Spotlights Generational Differences

Millennial travelers are far more likely to engage with “shopping influences” than their younger Gen Z counterpoints, according to new research from travel research agency m1nd-set. Shopping influences include communications touchpoints and sales staff.

Gen Zs tend to approach the sales associates in duty free shops considerably less than Millennials, the new research shows. Only 38% of the younger age segment say they engage with sales associates, 30% lower than Millennials, of whom 68% interact with store staff. The research, which also compares the shopper behaviour with the average across all age groups reveals that the tendency to engage with sales associates is above average among Millennials as 65% of travelers from all age groups interact with sales staff, according to the m1nd-set research.

The impact of the interaction is also lower among Gen Z shoppers. More than eight out of ten shoppers among Millennials and all age groups combined report a positive outcome following the interaction, while only 67% of Gen Z shoppers said they purchased a product thanks to the interaction.

The two groups also react differently to communications touchpoints, the m1nd-set research shows. More than half of Millennials (55%) notice touch points prior to their purchase in global travel retail when traveling, above the total for all passengers, which is just below half, at 47%. This contrasts significantly with the behavior among Gen Zs, as only 15% of this younger generation say they noticed touch points prior to purchase.

Peter Mohn, owner and CEO at m1nd-set, explained: “It is extremely important for travel retail marketers marketing to Millennials and Gen Z traveling consumers to understand where to reach their target audiences when they are not traveling. For both these age segments, it’s clearly online where they can be found, but among Gen Zs it’s most commonly on the mobile and via certain social media services.”

”Platforms such as TikTok have to be integral to the marketing mix for marketers who are intent on reaching Gen Z shoppers while Millennials are more prone to be across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter,” Mohn said.

The research also points to considerable differences in average spend, and points to a key challenge facing retailers. Average spend for both Millennials and Gen Zs is significantly lower than the average among all age groups, which is $101. For Millennials, average spend is $70, while for Gen Z shoppers the average is considerably lower at $44.


One of the major differences is the overall spend among both age groups. Whether in domestic or Travel Retail, Millennials represent a higher proportion of the overall consumer spend. Both generations combined currently represent just over 30% of total retail spend, but this share is set to increase to 48% by the end of the decade. In Travel Retail, the spend is currently 6% among Gen Z consumers and 25% among Millennials. According to m1nd-set the Millennials’ share of spend in travel retail will increase by only a few percentage points by the end of the decade while the growth in spend by 2030 among Gen Zs consumers is expected to be more than threefold.

“Although a sizeable proportion of the Gen Z consumer generation is still below 18 and whose purchasing power barely surpasses their parents’ allowance, the potential among this generation – both as future customers and disruptors – is not to be underestimated,” Mohn said.

“Both Millennials and Gen Zs have a strong tendency to favour sustainable practices when shopping in Travel Retail” Mohn continued. “While they are keen on championing brands with a strong social and environmental impact and story, they are equally intent on shouting out on social media about less virtuous brands and will be quick to name shame companies and brands which do not demonstrate ethical and environmentally friendly practices. This is particularly true among Gen Zs.”