In 2022 and beyond, elite operators are using their tech stack to increase revenue and improve their guest experience. They’re able to quickly create and market new offers to a larger audience than ever before, enabled by cloud technology.
The following are common ways that tours and attractions leverage their tech stack to increase revenue while at the same time elevating their guest experience:
Cross-Selling Retail And F&B
Most businesses seek out ways to further monetize their customer experience. This is done by way of ancillary products and incremental revenue, such as retail products and food & beverage sales.
It has long been a tradition of attractions to funnel traffic leaving their venue out through the gift shop. Retail items have become a major revenue source as well as free advertising from satisfied guests donning t-shirts and hats promoting the attraction around town and among their friends and network of influence.
In the Guest Experience Revenue Effect research study, the RocketRez composite organization brought in 14% of its total revenue from retail sales.
Providing food and beverage options on-site is another strategic method to generate new revenue, not just from the concessions sold, but operators have long known that guests need fuel. Specifically at an attraction where guests are spending several hours on site, being able to recharge and re-energize leads to more satisfied customers who spend more time and more money during their visit.
The composite organization drew 24% of its revenue from food and beverage.
With a modern tech stack, operators now have the opportunity to not just provide these peripheral products, but to sell them together; bundle them, package them, upsell, cross-sell and use them to enhance the guest experience in a variety of ways.
With a unified ticketing platform, guests can now pre-order their food when they purchase their tickets, and with the proliferation of eCommerce, the endless aisle gift shop can now be available online, to purchase in advance and pick up on the day of the visit.
Online (Web Engine)
One-stop digital shops that allow guests to book tickets, buy merchandise and reserve dining arrangements in one fell swoop see a significant increase in order values. When done well, upselling and cross-selling effectively online in the ticket purchase checkout can increase average order value by up to 30%.
The key to this is a great online checkout that includes affordable and complementary offers at the exact right time.
For example, a traveler is purchasing tickets to a boat tour around the city. Upon adding two tickets to the online cart, an offer is presented for a discount price for two drinks with each of the tickets purchased.
Knowing that passengers purchase an average of 1.5 drinks during the tour and that the added cost isn’t likely to dissuade the customer from completing the purchase, along with the improvement to their experience where they won’t have to pull out their wallet to pay during the tour, this offer is a simple add-on that increases revenue above the expected average and improves the experience at the same time.
In Person (RocketPass)
Historically, communicating with guests and finding ways to delight them was limited to their on-site experience. More recently with email and SMS marketing, social media and website chatbots, communication became much easier before and after the visit, with a noticeable gap while guests are on-site.
Once again that script is getting flipped with innovative new technology such as the RocketRez mobile guest experience platform, RocketPass. Operators can now focus on real-time communication during the visit and leverage their new technology to drive sales and enhance the guest experience.
Once the tickets are booked, and the day is planned, the time to showcase the attraction and focus on delivering a memorable experience, is when a customer arrives on site.
95% of family travelers told a 2019 TrekkSoft study that their priority was keeping their families entertained and happy. Most attractions now have an on-site gift shop, and sell refreshments and snack foods to keep guests happy and fed. If there’s an itch for something, an excellent guest experience should put in the best effort to scratch it.
An operator’s investment in this strategy is worth it, as offering items to improve the experience when a customer is on-site converts at a 7x rate to upselling in their online booking engine. And with new tech like RocketPass, this has become something that mid-market tours and attractions can easily now do.
But there’s often more to it than t-shirts and Slurpees. 87% of consumers are more likely to purchase from businesses that offer personalized experiences, according to research from Epsilon. Patrons want to feel their hard-earned dollars go a long way, and many businesses have expanded their distribution and line of products, offering premium experiences for those willing to pay above their standard base ticket price.
Using a mobile guest experience platform connected directly to the customer allows operators to provide a personalized experience through features like text messages and notifications that have exclusive offers, and promotions that are related to what the guest is doing or seeing at that moment.
Guest behavior and preferences can only be determined with data and insights provided by the mobile platform that provides feedback on every touchpoint along the customer journey.
Stack Your ACV
Most tours and attractions have an opportunity to add revenue through pricing strategies, as many customers are willing to pay more for premium time slots, when they book last minute, or when demand is high. Operators who implement dynamic pricing see an average revenue increase of 9.6% on average in their first year.
Smart pricing algorithms and a ticketing platform that allows for automated price adjustments on any sales channel enable operators to capitalize on their best marketing efforts to drive demand.
Automated dynamic pricing takes the guesswork away from operators and sells tickets at market value – what guests are willing to pay. At the same time, prices are just as often adjusted down to increase sales volume when factors such as weather or competing attractions reduce the demand.
This allows operators to maximize profitability by constantly negotiating between margin and demand.
Keep Them Coming Back
Another method to incremental revenue growth especially among zoos, aquariums, museums, and non-profit attractions is by providing exclusive perks that come with a membership paid on a subscription basis. This provides operators the benefit of consistent, recurring revenue which is often prepaid, and auto-renews.
Using communication tools built into the ticketing and operations platform, a sample of RocketRez customers were able to convert their annual visitors to members at a rate of 1.68%, adding a meaningful bottom line to their business.
Guests who become members are likely to be great brand ambassadors, leaving positive reviews and sharing their experiences on social media.
Data from the Guest Experience Revenue Effect report shows the positive impact that reviews can have on driving new visitors. But customers who become members alone have a 7x greater lifetime value as a customer, largely stemming from repeat visits and ancillary product purchases.
Tours and attractions are great venues for private events like corporate gatherings, weddings, graduations and more. Many operators include private events as an offering - not just for the revenue they bring in, but for the second and third-order effects.
For example, at any given event, the attraction has an opportunity to show itself off to a captive audience of guests they might not otherwise have attracted. As a result of their experience, a certain number of those guests are now more likely to come back as a visitor with their family or friend, join as a member, or even host their event there.
This creates an exponential effect, as word-of-mouth spreads until local organizations become hot destinations for private events. Many art galleries, museums, zoos or aquariums have become important centers in their community this way.
For operators, the ideal customer journey should begin with attending an event or facility and ends with a lifetime membership; turning ancillary revenue into exponential growth for the tour or attraction.
Consider how your current technology stack can be transformed to add revenue opportunities and improve the guest experience.