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Take Flight: Perfect Corp.'s Tech Upgrade of Airport Retail

Published July 27, 2023
Published July 27, 2023
Alexandre Debiève via Unsplash

According to Statista, 48% of consumers consider shopping at the airport to be part of the travel experience, and in Europe alone, the average spending per passenger equates to $145 per visit. To keep these consumers engaged, brands selling at airports must become innovative and find ways to amplify the shopping experience, making duty-free feel like a destination in itself. Hoping to engage with shoppers, Perfect Corp. has teamed up with global travel retailer Dufry to provide in-store, virtual try-on stations across a range of European airports.

The try-on service, which is installed at London Heathrow, London Stansted, Manchester, and Barcelona airports, provides 15 brands including Benefit, Kylie Cosmetics, Guerlain, and Huda Beauty. The technology gives consumers the ability to shop quickly when traveling while still finding the product that is best suited to their needs. It allows consumers to test how a product will look by creating an AR image of people with their chosen products applied.

"We are thrilled to be offering our customers this virtual try-on tool. We have been working on this collaboration with Perfect Corp. as part of our digital strategy to revolutionize the passenger experience," says Lee Adams, Global Digital Smart Store Head at Dufry. "This AI- and AR-powered technology forms a seamless part of the shopping journey for our passengers, helping them to easily choose the products that are perfect for them, as well as saving them time at the airport."

Because Perfect Corp. works with over 500 brands globally, airports that want to make use of the AR technology will be able to choose the businesses they wish to work with from this selection and, pending approval, will be allowed to implement the try-on service in their shopping spaces. The business believes that this offering will allow quicker turnaround of customers, leading to higher rates of consumer satisfaction and, therefore, more sales.

The try-on service is not the only example of recent AR implementations in travel retail. At the start of the year, JFK Airport introduced a robot manicure service that leads the consumer through a virtual preference selection stage and then paints the nails accordingly. The technology was created by health and wellness company XWELL in collaboration with robotics company Clockwork that pioneered the use of robotics within beauty. The pair created the robots to "deliver expediency, experience, and escape for customers at an affordable cost." The use of AR at JFK and in Europe for try-on technology are both hybrid offerings, allowing for fast and efficient services those in a hurry want while still offering an exciting shopping destination for those wishing to stay longer.

These experiences come at a time when the travel sector is seeing a huge surge post-Covid restrictions, contributing to almost 10% of the world's global GDP. "Our collaboration with global travel retailer Dufry allows us to also touch traveling consumers during their journey, be it online or offline. We believe that by partnering with travel retailers, our personalized and interactive digital solutions for beauty and luxury products can help the post-Covid recovery of the travel sector and bring travelers the shopping experiences of the future wherever they are traveling to," adds Perfect Corp. founder and Chief Executive Officer Alice Chang.

The technology is sure to alter the expectations of travel retail for many consumers, allowing them to find the perfect holiday-focused products that match their needs in an efficient and timely fashion. To ensure everyone can experience duty-free in the same immersive way, Dufry intends to continue its collaboration with Perfect Corp. and roll out the service in airports across 75 countries in which the company operates. Because the travel retail industry is set to grow at a CAGR of 9.23% to $117.18 billion in 2030, services such as Perfect Corp. and Dufry's try-on technology will be ones to watch while waiting for the plane.


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