Top 5 things family attractions should learn from the industry giants
Legoland, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park – what are they doing differently to you?
Well the truth is, not a lot. They have their attraction, they have their gift shops and cafes, and they have customers – Just like you.
But what sets them apart from most attractions is their ability to research their performance, analyse the results and consistently develop from there.
Working with Key Performance Indicators = success.
So, let’s start at the beginning, what is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI)? Well to put it simply, a KPI is a measurable factor that helps you, the business owner, identify how well you are doing.
And this is how the big attractions set themselves above the rest, they study their KPI’s and develop from them. They do customer research, they monitor sales and they experiment with store layout. With this research, they can identify what makes them money, and then start to take actions.
So where do you start? Well here are the five best KPI’s that the big guys use to get ahead in the game some tips for using them in your family attraction:
Frequency of visits is a very simple KPI to work with, but it can provide a great insight into the visitors experience at your attraction. For example, if your attraction has a decent overall attendance, but you get very few repeat customers – you may be offering an experience that customers recommend to others, but don’t feel drawn to return themselves.
One way of working with this would be a remarketing campaign. Find out what time of the year a customer attended, did they come for a specific event or exhibition? Start an email campaign to customers to inform them of a similar event starting, or remind them of the quality of the original exhibition that drew them in.
Start working out patterns in your attendance/ticket sales and start working from there, the more visits a customer makes, the easier the pattern will be to decipher and the more qualified your remarketing campaign will be.
Many of the major retailers invest in heatmap technology to measure their visitor journey and match it to spending, but we really don’t think that’s necessary – your EPOS system alone should give you all this information and a lot more.
You can do some simple to research to match up ticket sales to your gift shop and café sales. Is everyone at the attraction spending more money once they’re on site?
If you can get people to your attraction effectively but you can’t get them to part with their money during their visit, your issues lie in conversion. Anything to do with conversion should tell you that you have a serious problem with upselling, stock, layout, pricing and so on. For example, is your gift shop in the right location?
Another relatively straight forward KPI to start working with is your annual pass sales. If your sales are relatively low, your customers might be telling you they don’t think they will come back to your attraction.
So, give them something to come back for, the promise of new attractions and exciting events. Get them to invest their interest in the development of your business by offering something to return for. Then capitalise on this interest with loyalty cards using your EPOS System – 3 visits and the customer gets exclusive VIP tickets to your biggest event at the end of the year. (With this trick, you can sell the customer 1 ticket, 3 times!)
Social media is the job that every business really needs to get around to sorting out at some point. But seriously, sort it out. Not only can developing a social media strategy improve your marketing reach massively, but being active on Social media can give you a fantastic 2-way communication platform with visitors.
Social Media is also a great indication of the extent of your marketing reach. You can easily find out who is listening to your message, who is engaging with you? Social Media Analytics can provide a quick and easy insight into your popular demographics so you can see exactly who is most interested in your business and start marketing directly to that demographic.
Of course, only your most loyal customers are likely to follow you on social media, but they can give a great indication as to which demographics really care about your business.
The clearest KPI, and the one that essentially overrides all others. If you aren’t making a profit, it’s time to make a change.
The real power of working with KPI’s is comparing your research to form the larger picture of how your business is performing. So, if profits are falling, start considering the average spend per visitor – if your visitors only really buy tickets and don’t spend anything in your café or gift shop, it’s time to address the quality of the assets or whether they’re even necessary.
You could turn a higher profit by rolling back your operation and cutting them out altogether!
A modern EPOS System will provide all the insights you need to delve into your profitability to start making comparative decisions using your KPI research!
Working from KPI’s can often be difficult because it involves introspective consideration – the KPI’s provide the information you need, it’s down to you to make the difficult decisions about acting on and reacting to your research.
One of the most difficult aspects of working with KPI’s is actually gathering your data in the first place. A modern EPOS solution will offer many ways of collecting all the data required in our top five KPI’s. A great solution will also provide physical solutions for acting on your data, for example KCPOS systems have loyalty card functionalities and huge analytic possibilities.
Finally, remember a KPI is irrelevant to your business without action. Watching a problematic KPI worsen with no corrective action is no benefit to the business. However, hopefully these KPIs will not only help highlight an issue but also give you the insight needed to make informed decisions to tackle the problem effectively.