The past year has necessitated many changes in visitor services operations. Trends that emerged in response to health and safety requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic have, at least for now, become the norm.
One of the most prominent changes in consumer behaviour in a post-pandemic world is the way in which consumers purchase tickets and memberships to institutions.
ACME has observed as much as an 80% uptick in online sales for some of its customers. This makes sense, given that most institutions now require advanced ticket purchasing and reservations, all of which are done online.
Below is everything you need to know about the benefits of online ticket sales and how to increase them.
Benefits of increasing online ticket sales
A lot of organizations have moved to online ticketing out of necessity. However, many of them will be retaining their online models well after the pandemic has ended. Below are some of the most valuable benefits and advantages of implementing an online ticket sales platform.
- Online ticket sales are safer: Vaccine rollouts are increasing. However, we don’t know how long the pandemic will continue or when it will be safe to gather indoors at full capacity. This means that providing online sales will significantly reduce physical contact and provide more predictability for institutions. This gives operators more time to organize the layout of their venue and prepare for the anticipated crowds.
- More strategic leverage: One of the key advantages of online sales is transparency. Because data is transparent, organizations can see exactly how much traffic they’re getting on their website. And where those individuals are coming from. This provides a lot more leverage for strategic communication and marketing. If traffic from social media is down, for example, attractions can take a closer look at their social media marketing campaigns. This will help them to make an informed decision on how to proceed.
- Reach a broader audience: Whether attractions are communicating through email, Instagram and Twitter pages, advertisements, a direct app, SEO optimization, or through their own, unique content, they will have the chance to meet a wider audience online. This has been the case since before the pandemic. But it’s now more important than ever to bolster communication pipelines, as indoor restrictions continue.
- Customer data collection: As mentioned above, more data equates to better-informed organizations and clearer data-driven solutions. Whether operators are implementing a marketing campaign, invigorating their exhibitions, identifying customer patterns, or reassessing membership incentives, the ability to collect and interpret data will contribute to the efficacy of strategic decisions.
- Drive revenue: Online ticket sales help drive revenue. This is because of how easy it is to include add-ons, incentives, membership opportunities, and opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. Online ticket sales also mean attractions can easily include links, videos, and images to upcoming events that customers would have not otherwise seen or have been able to purchase in person. Finally, an online ticketing platform will allow them to sell tickets 24/7 as opposed to the limited, in-person hours.
There are even more reasons to move sales online too – like convenience, calendar management, time and cost efficiency, and more. These are just some of the key benefits of implementing a robust online ticketing platform.
Ways to bolster online sales
So how do operators bolster online ticket sales? Below are some solid strategies that attractions can start implementing today to increase online ticket sales.
- Email marketing: Email marketing is an excellent marketing strategy. When done right, it can help institutions to connect with a wide audience of passionate supporters. Operators must make sure they are sending the right content pertaining to the particular event (if it’s an educational event, content in the email should be education focused), and avoid turn-offs like misleading headers and spammable material.
- Online Membership Engagement: Online membership engagement strategies present an effective way to elicit interest online and turn one-time visitors into life-long members. The best way to start online membership engagement is by communicating. Attractions can find visitors and members on their apps, social media, and email, and communicate all of their new membership incentives and reward systems.
- Online communities: One way to increase online ticket sales and create a foundation of passionate visitors is through online communities. This could be a blog, forum, or weekly online event. Giving visitors the space to connect with art enthusiasts, animal lovers, history buffs, and science-goers in a fun and exciting manner will translate to more ticket sales and memberships.
- Online events: Just because a lot of indoor activity has ceased doesn’t mean institutions can’t still hold online events. Think virtual movie and documentary screenings, silent online auctions, virtual readings, and virtual speeches. These are all ways to engage with customers online and increase traffic to online ticket sales.
An online buying experience can be just as welcoming and engaging as an in-person one. With ACME’s custom online ticket platform, members can quickly and easily purchase additional tickets and add-ons, renew their membership, and so much more. Operators can even provide them with a customized members-only online experience that is both personalized and seamless.