By Ainhoa Bengoetxea on 12/17/20 11:12 AM
Unfortunately, it looks like the pandemic will not give in just yet, and it has already been a long year in which businesses have staggered through the consequences of the different restrictions that countries are adopting to overcome COVID19. Even if some leisure venues decided to shift towards the online world from the very beginning of this unexpected chapter in history, some others are still struggling because they were - and still are - hugely rooted and invested in their traditional business models.
It only takes a quick look at the current situation to realize that either we change along with the new circumstances and adapt to the shifts in consumer behaviour due to the pandemic, or we might have to end up closing down venue gates permanently. Surely, you’ll want to avoid that at all costs, and therefore might be wondering what is the best strategy for your leisure venue in times like these.
Well, did you know that companies who were already following a direct to consumer (D2C) approach have come out in a position of strength even during these shaky months for the industry? D2C is an increasingly growing eCommerce approach that can give you back control over your own venue and sales channels instead of leaving your brand’s fate in the hands of others. Why wouldn’t you move ahead and protect your brand if you know the way out?
Perhaps by now, you are already aware of the numerous benefits and advantages that a D2C eCommerce strategy could bring to your leisure business, but you might be wondering then, what exactly do you need to be D2C-ready and make this transition. Well, that is exactly what we will be sharing with you today.
In case you are not yet familiar with the D2C approach, I suggest you check out the related read: “How going D2C can protect your brand from the pandemic”.
The first thing you need to have is a proper online shop, in today’s competitive and digital world, and especially now that we are going through the COVID19 pandemic, there is a growing tendency of consumers wanting to shop from their own homes. The pandemic has therefore accelerated the adoption of digital technologies and experiences at triple the speed than expected, and even when the quarantine ends, people will be cautious and many will still prefer shopping from the safety of their homes; fears are not going to disappear overnight.
This online presence is quickly growing in the leisure industry too; according to Forbes, online revenue growth as of April 2020 was up 68% and there is a good chance that this trend will persist in the post-quarantine world. So, not only you should give high importance to your webshop if you are considering transforming your business model into D2C, but you should invest in providing the best possible online service due to the relevance it has for the survival of every business.
Make sure that the different features and functions consumers are going to be using in your online ticket shop work smoothly from beginning to end: an easy-to-use checkout, multiple payment options, search engine optimized codes and layout just to mention a few. We also dedicated a full blog post to eCommerce where you can dive deeper into the world of conversion-oriented online sales and take more ideas from.
2. Customer attraction and conversion
After making sure you have an eCommerce platform that fits your audience and is well-fitted for the leisure industry, you’ll want to attract as many visitors to your website as possible. The more traffic coming to your website, the more opportunities you get to generate sales by converting those visitors into paying customers that will end up enjoying a wonderful day at your venue and continue to grow your business.
For this reason, you need to make sure that a significant part of your marketing efforts are focused on attracting your target audience to your website. You should analyse and understand which strategy fits your audience best and decide which ones you will be giving a boost: Some of the most common marketing strategies to increase conversion rates are optimizing your website for organic search, promoting your site through display ads and retargeting, using email marketing to drive traffic to your website, or even push notifications.
You can check out how some of our partners who are already on the D2C wagon are carrying out successful marketing campaigns in order to get more traffic into their website and thus more visitors into their venues.
3. Data, data, and... more data
Owning your data and using it to make effective decisions across your business is crucial for a successful and continuously improved D2C strategy. By owning useful data, you can get a better understanding of your customers and therefore take your customer experience to the next level by offering personalized and customized experiences, which will drive your venue’s long-term success.
But why would you want data if you cannot read it? Consider that is it useless to have a lot of information and data if you cannot read, interpret it, and draw a conclusion out of it. You want that data to make better decisions and to implement successful strategies, so you will probably need a solution that gives actionable and processed insights, especially if you are not a data expert! Look for a solution that can provide reports to keep you up to date on your business’ growth, such as the one we provide at Convious.
These are just the main components that you need before going D2C and transitioning your business into this approach successfully. Always keep in mind that you are going to be spending both time and money, and that’s why we wanted to make sure that you know if you are ready beforehand. If you are a regular reader of our blog or follow us on any of our social media channels, you have probably noticed that we strongly believe that D2C can definitely transform your business into a competitive and future-driven leisure venue.
Remember that serving customers directly while enhancing their experience throughout every single touchpoint of their customer journey with the use of insights extracted from their data, will allow you to create unique and personalized experiences and build a stronger bond with your guests. Don’t you want to become “the” venue, instead of just one more venue in a long list of options? Talk to one of our team experts and become part of the future of the leisure industry now!