Moving away from walk-up sales can be daunting, but, today it is a necessity. Not only do customers expect pretty much everything to be digitalised, but it also has many benefits for your business too.
When moving into a completely new system, or changing supplier, you'll want to make sure you're asking the right questions for your business. It's important to find a partner that will work and grow with you, and as a bonus, they'll have industry experience that you can draw upon. What's most important though, is to find a system that works for you.
1. Drawing customers away from 'walk-up' sales
If you've invested in a new system, you want to encourage people to use it right? What's more, walk-up customers are likely to be in your catchment area and will have seen your attraction through more traditional marketing methods. What's likely is they are in a 'spontaneous' visitor bracket, meaning that they have made a last-minute decision to visit. Whilst this type of visitor is and always will be welcome, the pre-planned visitor who has pre-booked is much more likely to bring additional spending.
So, how does this increase your revenue? By encouraging visitors to book online you guarantee payment in advance, and by incentivising this with cheaper online rates, you're much more likely to ensure the revenue for any day (rain or shine!). Having your tickets online is going to make you much more accessible to any demographic, meaning you're likely to draw in bigger numbers.
2. Streamlining your operations
This is a big one! Your online booking system should not only bring in more visitors, but it should make your life so much easier. It's hard to imagine just 5-10 years ago when 80% of sales were walk-ups. Figuring out your operational needs like staffing, products and stock control was always based on previous years and best guesses.
Now, you can simply pull a report and see how many visitors you are going to receive on any given day. That makes life so much easier! From reducing staffing costs to stocking your cafe appropriately, adding online ticketing to your attraction can save you thousands in operational costs, by ensuring your ability to plan ahead.
3. The magic of upsells
Research shows that capturing the costs of the experience in one single basket transaction is going to equal a higher spend, than attempting to upsell on arrival. Take guidebooks, for example, if a visitor is purchasing tickets online (with a 10% discount for booking in advance) and they are offered a guidebook upsell, they are much more likely to add this to their basket whilst paying online than on-site on the day - especially if this is discounted.
Now, you might think that discounting online is counterintuitive to increasing revenue, but the focus is on the number of sales, which will increase if you get it right.
4. Data capture
One of the biggest assets of your business is the collection of customer data and what you can do with it. Do you know your customer? You might find that when you start collecting data on who is visiting your business, it might be a completely different picture than what you expected. This collection of data is going to have a powerful impact on your marketing strategy.
What's more, you'll also be able to market to visitors to upsell events, special offers and discounts, which without an online system is very hard to achieve.
5. A flexible system
One of our favourite parts of working with so many attractions, is they are all different! Your system should be flexible to allow you to drive sales when you need them most. Creating discount codes, variable pricing and bundled experiences are all ways which will increase your revenue, especially in the shoulder months.
Our team specialise in working with over 1,000 venues to make sure they are getting the most out of their ticketing. Interested in finding out more? Get in touch today.