Now that we have a better understanding of dynamic pricing, let’s tackle some of the hesitations shared by managers early in the adoption conversation. There’s doubt that while dynamic pricing sounds great in theory, when applied in the real world, “it just won’t work”. One particular holdup revolves around transitioning from selling most tickets at the front gate to an ecommerce-first framework.
While in-person transactions provide opportunities for upselling, using the front gate as the primary channel for ticket sales has significant drawbacks. First, the guest experience suffers due to long queues, especially at waterparks and amusement parks during the hot summer season. It’s also more user-friendly to present ticketing options and prices on a website than on a menu board, and unless the menu boards are tied into the point-of-sale system, more time is required for upkeep. Plus, online transactions enhance market research capabilities with new sources of data. Ecommerce can boost guests’ interactions on social media, too. Most importantly, when customers purchase in advance, they’ve committed to visit. Guests who wait until arriving at the gate to purchase tickets may never show up; life gets busy, plans change, but plans are less likely to change when a ticket has already been purchased.
While the benefits of ecommerce for attractions are numerous, before adopting a dynamic pricing strategy, most attractions aren’t selling a lot of tickets online, leading managers unsure if their market is ready to shift. Understandably, for attractions operating for a long time, there will be some inertia slowing the transition.
It’s also worth noting consumers’ purchasing behavior has changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than ever, consumers are purchasing online and choosing services to simplify their lives and save time, such as grocers offering curbside pickup or restaurants or services offering food delivery. The Wall Street Journal (2020) reported “the pandemic’s disruptions have transformed how American consumers behave by accelerating their embrace of digital commerce, and the changes are likely to prove permanent, according to businesses studying and adapting to the changes.” Businesses that were unwilling or unable to adapt struggled. We’ve already seen this pervade many sectors of the economy, including the attractions industry. Venues should expect and be prepared for consumers to make more purchases online. Many venues were already forced to adopt online reservation systems when capacity limits were imposed upon them.
Regardless of the market, today’s consumer expects the ease of ecommerce. Whether you employ a dynamic pricing strategy or not, it’s important to make ecommerce accessible to consumers. Of course, a successful dynamic pricing implementation should increase both online ticket sales and total revenue, and like ecommerce, it is the modern solution for ticketing operations in the attractions industry.
Torry, H. (2020, November 16). Pandemic speeds Americans’ embrace of digital commerce. The Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/pandemic-speeds-americans-embrace-of-digital-commerce-11605436200