DFS is a Hong Kong-based travel retailer of luxury products. Established in 1960, its network consists of duty-free stores located in 11 major airports and 20 downtown Galleria stores.


Historically, the group has worked with traditional tour operators to push travellers to its stores. However, in recent years, this strategy has become flawed, as increasing numbers of travellers ignore travel agents and plan trips on their own – solo or in small groups.


To increase in-store footfall in DFS’s key Asian markets, we needed rethink DFS’s digital strategies to engage modern Chinese travellers in the planning stage.


DFS’s previous strategies meant it did not have the data infrastructure in place to learn about its consumers before they visited its stores. So, we applied our Precision Marketing methodology to work out who was searching for holidays, where these people wanted to travel to, and what messages would resonate with them.

Our first step was to link DFS’s online and offline data. To do this, we created DFS’s first company channel on WeChat, the biggest messaging app in China —
it lets users do everything from making payments to booking flights and hotels in-app.

Using WeChat data, first, we analysed when and where people were booking holidays, then we targeted them with product messages and offers redeemable at the DFS store at their end destination.

If we spotted a consumer in Shanghai had booked to Hawaii, for example, we messaged her links to products on the DFS web store. T
hen, if she looked at a product on-site but didn’t purchase — a red lipstick, say — we would retarget her with a discount coupon redeemable at the physical DFS store in Hawaii.


After purchase, we continued to send the consumer personalised messages, like tips on how to apply her lipstick and offers for related products online. 


As more people engaged with our messages, we were able to refine our targeting to deliver more personalised offers based on historical interactions with our content. 


Using Precision Marketing, we closed the online-offline data loop.


Over the course of a year, we ran more than 80 campaigns, targeting users in 10 inbound and outbound markets. 


Our campaign increased engagement with DFS on WeChat by 1100%

Most importantly, as relevant targets saw our content, more people wanted to visit a DFS duty-free store. I
n-store visits increased by 4% YOY.


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