How going D2C can protect your brand from the pandemic
The leisure world is currently divided into two types of mindsets: those who are waiting for things to get back to how they were before the COVID19 pandemic, and those who are looking forward to opportunities to innovate and reinvent their leisure experiences for the better.
So, there is a reason why we’ve made an appearance on your screen today. Which is actually very similar to the reason you’ve ultimately clicked through and landed here. No, it’s not fate. we don’t believe in that kind of thing, and as one of my favourite TV characters would say, ‘destiny is just another stupid excuse to wait for things to happen instead of making them happen’.
Which is why we know that the reason you are here, reading this right now, is because you fall into the second group of people, isn't it? The ‘doers’ pack. The forward-thinkers. The kind of ambitious people who are fuelled by curiosity and are on the lookout for opportunities that will help them take their leisure business to new heights.
Despite the tough times we live in, you know that with the right strategy you can overcome this challenge, just as you’ve overcome other major obstacles in the past.
We believe so too, and we want to help you on your mission by telling you a bit about the strategy that has been many companies’ life-saver during this year’s pandemic.
We're talking about big players like Nike, Lindt or Heinz, who might not be involved with the attractions and leisure industry whatsoever, but were also dealing with some of the same challenges and pains that leisure venues like yours are still dealing with today.
They decided to wave goodbye to their old traditional ways of selling online, and found out major benefits in adopting a new eCommerce strategy approach.
That approach is called D2C (direct-to-consumer) and is revolutionising the way businesses connect with their customers and capitalise on that bond to grow better.
Perhaps the thoughts popping in your head right now sound something like...
"Okay, but how? What is this D2C thing and how is it supposed to help my business? I’m trying to get through a pandemic here, I need to focus on CRITICAL stuff!"
Fair enough. You do. But that is exactly why I want to shed some light on this topic right now, because it IS critical and, if implemented properly, could make or break your performance in the coming year.
Not convinced? Let us quickly lay out the reasons by which implementing a direct-to-consumer for your leisure business could help you protect your brand from the pandemic and potential new crises.
‘This D2C thing’ essentially consists in selling to your customers directly through your own sales channels, without depending on any distributor, reseller or third party along that process.
As simple as that sounds, the implications of it are actually huge:
You become your own sales driving force
If there’s one thing that has suffered during this pandemic, that is probably your leisure venue’s financial health. Logically, closed doors have a brutal impact on businesses that have high fixed costs and depend on ticket sales as their main revenue stream. When you top that up with having to sell your tickets to your ‘best’ (A.K.A cheapest) prices and throwing big discounts here and there in order for resellers to get you volume… ouch. Your financial health suffers, and could probably use an urgent prescription of a good D2C strategy to treat that pain ASAP.
Why? Because it will help you diversify your revenue streams instead of being so strongly dependent on third-party resellers. That doesn’t mean that you need to completely get rid of them, it simply means that you will gain negotiation power because you will be driving your main sales through your own direct channel.
But having your own powerful sales channel has far more advantages, one of the best ones being that...
You take back control over your customer relationship and data!
When it’s you who owns the customer relationship (and not the third party reseller) you get to use that data to really understand who your customers are and capitalise on that information to drive true growth to your leisure venue.
What’s their favourite ride? What are the tickets they love buying the most? What’s their wish-list and purchase history? What times do they prefer to come? Which days? Do they come in groups, in couples, with friends, or with family? Do they like buying your bundled offers? Which payment method is their favourite? Where are they from? What’s their age? Are they buying more or less? I could go on and on.
Just think about all the different ways you could be using that information to create unique and personalised experiences and build a stronger bond with your guests.
All of this continuous flow of real-time data is an invaluable asset for you to use in order to improve your customer experiences (both offline and online) and even reach operational excellence by managing your resources better. Link this to the power of Artificial Intelligence, and BANG, you’ve got a dynamic machine that can make accurate and smart predictions for you.
And in times where everything is so uncertain, who doesn't love accurate predictions, right? In fact, this is exactly one of the key reasons so many companies are choosing to go D2C.
Data --> Information --> Knowledge --> Endless opportunities to improve, learn, and delight your customers.
This translates into the fact that, in the face of the current pandemic or any other future crisis, your brand’s fate is in your hands. Which means you hold your data and can use it to react accordingly in a timely manner.
And that's not the end of it. The rewards you can reap by jumping into the D2C wagon are many: Developing innovation-driving customer insights, being able to influence and connect with your customers at every touch-point along their journey, delivering highly personalised experiences, creating next-level loyalty programs or tapping into subscription-based recurring revenue are just some of the opportunities that could come along if you decide to give this increasingly popular eCommerce strategy a chance.
Essentially, it opens a door for you to differentiate and become “the” venue, instead of just one more venue in a long list of options.
Want to learn more about how D2C can support your venue towards recovery, but not sure where to get started? At Convious we are absolutely obsessed with helping our leisure partners grow and succeed in the online world by selling more direct, so we are always ready to plan a call with you and figure out the solutions that fit your specific case the best.
We do the heavy lifting for you so that going D2C can be as easy as one-two-three!