How Connectivity Can Boost Ticket Sales and Reduce Workloads
When it comes to boosting ticket sales for amusement parks and attractions, distributing through outside channels can be a boon. By contracting with online resellers such as Expedia, Google, GetYourGuide, and Klook, attractions—from museums and family entertainment centers to theme parks and resorts—can extend their sales reach to potential guests around the globe. Through these online third parties—also known as “channels”—attractions can sell tickets to consumers who may have never found these attractions on their own. Since most of these resellers only get paid upon a sale, other benefits include more marketing at no cost (yielding greater brand exposure and awareness), higher daily attendance, and shorter lines at walk-up ticket sale windows.
So, what’s the challenge of working with online resellers—possibly many at once? The extra work that comes from managing them all. If you want to make an update to your ticket pricing or inventory allocation, you have to log in to each individual reseller network and make these changes. Some resellers also require guests to print out a paper voucher to redeem and exchange at the gate for an actual ticket, and for attractions to receive payments from these resellers, they still need to provide them with validated proof of redemption. Compiling and submitting these reports can be tedious and leave room for error. These issues create an additional burden of work and operational strain for an attraction.
The Solution: Connectivity
Fortunately, there is a solution to this online reseller conundrum, and it’s as simple as connectivity. Connectivity is how one technology talks to another via the internet. Just as we routinely “connect to the internet” or “connect to Wi-Fi” without thinking twice about it, connectivity between technologies enables the passing of data from Point A (an amusement park’s ticketing system, for instance) and Point B (an online reseller). Each of these connection streams, however, must be coded and built uniquely to accommodate the requirements of each technology system. These coded connection streams are called Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Since technology systems are ever-changing, APIs need constant maintenance and updating. Connectivity can be beneficial when it works, but when something breaks between the point-to-point connections, it can cause unfortunate issues. When API connections start to add up, maintaining them all becomes no easy feat.
The Power of Centralized Connectivity
An emerging, more advanced connectivity solution for managing all of these online resellers and their complex APIs is called a channel manager. Housed in the cloud, think of a channel manager like an old-fashioned telephone switchboard. When telephone operators manually answered a phone call from one party, they then had to plug the line into the connection for the matching party the caller was trying to reach. Operators were the central hub, constantly connecting Point A to Point B in real time. Using this analogy, the channel manager is the operator connecting the reseller to the attraction’s ticketing system. The main difference in the digital age is that the channel manager is automated software powered by connectivity.
The channel manager puts you in control of key revenue elements from a single place. Log in to the channel manager and make changes to any or all connected resellers with whom you have contracts. Need to change prices, add new products, or update the description of a current product across the board? No need to log in to dozens of reseller sites—just log in to the channel manager and make your changes. Once you’ve saved a change, the channel manager then takes care of pushing all changes to the resellers you’ve selected. And as a reseller sells tickets on behalf of the attraction, real-time data about those sales passes from the reseller directly to the attraction’s inventory system via the channel manager. When you’re ready to be paid for those sales and need to generate a redemption report for each of your resellers, you only need to log in to the channel manager to view and download those reports.
Advanced Connectivity Applications Across Various Attractions Scenarios
The ubiquitous usefulness of connectivity across the global attractions industry can be relevantly illustrated by the following scenarios:
Example No. 1: A Major City Science Center
Cities are home to unique museums, many featuring collections that cannot be seen anywhere else. Caught in a Catch-22 of wanting to market themselves and their destinations worldwide, but having limited technology and staff to begin with, the task of managing multiple resellers presents obstacles to revenue growth.
Moving to a cloud-based channel manager connectivity platform, automates and streamlines previously manual office processes. For example, it generates gate-ready order confirmations, allowing a better visitor check-in experience. You can run reports in one system, see the total redemptions, and then drill down to see from which reseller they were sold, as well as from which country the visitors bought them. This understanding can then be used to enhance the buyer experience. Sales and global exposure go up, while the workload remains manageable.
Example No. 2: A Brand-New Destination
When new attractions, like Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, plan to open their international destinations, they create a strategy to attract visitors from across the globe. Distribution through resellers is one method to consider.
“In today’s digital age, distribution ensures a seamless, more modern booking experience for travelers, reducing the number of transactions involved for products to be available to consumers,” explains Liam Findlay, general manager of Experience Hub, the marketing organization behind Yas Island. “This was vital to our ultimate growth and is now just as important for Yas Island’s current road to recovery.”
Outsourcing the build and maintenance of technology connectivity by partnering with a channel manager solution can allow a new destination to focus on innovating experiences, providing customer service excellence, and building a loyalty-generating reputation.
Example No. 3: An Established Theme Park
Theme parks have long relied on distribution as a sales strategy. With hundreds of reselling partners to manage, even connectivity alone cannot accommodate future revenue plans. This became all too evident for one global theme park player when it wanted to roll out a new pricing structure. Its online resellers would all have to reconfigure their APIs to handle the new structure, and the offline resellers needed notice too far in advance for their bulk buying tactics. Because of these obstacles, most resellers didn’t adopt the new pricing structure, affecting the theme park’s projected revenue growth.
Seeking a solution, the theme park chose a channel manager to provide the means to automate and control the adoption of the new pricing structure. The centralization of the channel manager eliminated scalability and technical staffing problem. Whether the park dealt with one dozen or 1,000 resellers, it only needed to log in to one place to add and upload to all its integrated resellers. The channel manager also allowed the park to better control the brand experience—consumers saw consistent product information and pricing across the reseller spectrum.
By converting to the channel manager, the theme park saw further gains in the consumer insights it gleaned. The park knew where its tickets were being purchased, which reseller was used, and the time span between purchase and redemption. The park could use these insights to innovate and adjust multiple aspects of its business.
A Premium Channel Manager
Now that the case for using a channel manager has been established for optimizing attraction revenues and reducing operational strain, the question has to be asked: Who offers the premier channel manager that delivers results?
Look no further than Redeam. Redeam’s Channel Manager connectivity solution provides the full range of services outlined above and more. Redeam’s channel manager is not an add-on to a product; Redeam’s sole focus is providing best-in-class connectivity. Because of this, Redeam is an agnostic, neutral party that sits between attractions and reservation and ticket systems, as well as online resellers. This kind of connection has allowed Redeam to continue to innovate and iterate upon its channel manager solution, developing such cutting-edge offerings as dynamic pricing, accommodating timed ticketing distribution, and, coming soon, reserved seating. Selecting a reputable connectivity provider like Redeam will position attractions of any size for optimized future growth. To learn more, visit redeam.com.
This story was made possible by IAAPA partner Redeam. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Funworld writers and editors. IAAPA does not endorse any service, company, or product mentioned within.