In recent months, many tour, activity and attraction providers have digitized their booking capabilities, in some cases with great effort, and have deployed many new tools specifically intended when dealing with COVID-related constraints. But what now? What happens to features such as online booking, contact tracking, documentation or audience flow management? Are these obsolete? Absolutely not! We’ll explain why all of these booking system features make perfect sense even after the lockdown, as well as in non-pandemic times, and how your business can benefit.
Part I Same tool different purpose
Online booking system
Digitization of processes and faster information transfer
Using online booking solutions during the pandemic digitized the booking process for tours, activities & attractions in general. Information was thus available at any time, searchable, and transferred via the Internet without wasting time. This was tremendously important in the context of rapid identification and containment of contagion cases. With handwritten appointment calendars, call logs, even e-mail histories of orders, the effort involved in handling the data would be disproportionately higher and completeness rather questionable.
The step towards an online booking system and the existence of different data thus form the basis for a whole range of different individual tools, which we will examine in more detail below.
Online booking in advance
Commitment and the newly expected convenience
To meet the criterion of booking in advance, which was required during the pandemic, many providers not only simply converted their service to advance bookability, but created an online booking option right away. This almost prescribed digitalization was subsequently not only able to help with the reopening but in conjunction with other trends, such as home shopping, video conferencing, homeschooling or online gaming, has established itself as a new standard of convenience. For example, users can see directly whether there are still free seats available and receive an immediate binding confirmation of participation after booking. This feeling of security of having a place will increasingly take over from the spontaneous use of leisure offers.
Contact data collection
Automated participant communication and new approaches to marketing
One of the key tools for safeguarding against COVID is contact tracking. The contact data stored with each online booking continues to be the optimal basis for notifying affected parties when COVID occurs.
In addition, however, targeted notifications can be used in other situations, such as in the case of cancellations or rescheduling of the meeting place. Thus, notifying participants is more extensively possible and much more efficient for providers – whether 10 or 100 customers are informed no longer plays a role in terms of effort.
If the appropriate data protection precautions have already been implemented, as is the case with bookingkit, the contact list of a booked experience can also be used to support the provider’s own marketing. Here, the active stimulation of ratings and feedback in the aftermath of the appointment should be mentioned in particular – an increasingly important factor of one’s own online presence and the targeted approach with news and discounts to build up a regular clientele.
Targeted analysis of booking data for optimization / further development
The need to comply with visitor caps has so far required that providers be able to not only provide information on current occupancy rates at any time, but also document compliance (see contact tracking). The underlying data for this is provided by bookingkit out of the box – but in a completely different context. Beyond simple statements on occupancy, knowledge about peak times and idle times, booking periods and preferred marketing channels as well as popular and unpopular offers can be used to draw conclusions for the optimization and further development of one’s own business. Digitally obtained data of all bookings in the bookingkit dashboard goes from being a guarantor of compliance to once again becoming a competitive advantage.
Maximizing revenue through flexible pricing and exclusive offers
During the lockdown, varying prices at different busy times was a good way to “redirect” visitors to less busy periods. This is still a good idea in terms of even or at least predictable occupancy. However, there is another aspect that arises from experience with few “fellow visitors”. For example, many customers may find it pleasant in the future to take advantage of the offer only in the context of a small group, somewhat more undisturbed, somewhat more exclusive. Providers can meet this need with flexible price categories, or at least experiment with them. After all, exclusivity is an added value that should be reflected in ticket prices.
Part II Long-running efforts of reach and upselling
More reach through affiliated marketing partners
Early on in the lockdown, and again during the reopening, we recommended that tour, activity and attraction providers increase their potential reach. These efforts are, of course, of varying importance at different times, but in principle never go amiss – especially since, unlike advertising campaigns, for example, there are initially no additional costs when using the marketing channels connected to bookingkit. Billing by commission when tickets are booked and the exact allocation of ticket quotas per marketing channel makes the continuous expansion of reach via the bookingkit partner network a risk-free, precisely calculable tool.
Additional revenues through additional sales
Generating additional revenues beyond normal ticket sales was a small lifeline for many suppliers during the lockdown. For example, advance bookings could be provided with merchandising items or virtual variants of the offer and sold directly via the bookingkit module “Additional Sales”. These possibilities already existed before Corona, still exist of course and can be used with every booking – directly via the bookingkit checkout widget in the optimal context of a purchase decision made anyway.
We have compiled our tips for the lockdown and especially for the reopening in an exclusive e-book. You can find more information here:
Or talk to us directly! We will explain everything to you in detail in a non-binding and free demo: