The visitor experience today all starts with a tap or a click. Park, attraction, and resort visitors will most likely first encounter your brand through your website. With e-commerce bookings, customers are investing their leisure time in your brand before ever stepping foot on the grounds, which makes your e-commerce strategy an integral part of business growth.
While your website should of course be visually appealing and informative, an intelligently designed and optimized user experience will play the most important role in moving website users through the different steps of ticket purchase; from awareness, to exploration, to comparison, to pressing the ‘buy’ button. This is commonly referred to as your sales and marketing “funnel”.
The goal of optimizing the purchase path and checkout process is to make it as easy as possible for first-time and returning visitors to convert into paying customers. By taking steps to optimize the purchase path and checkout process, conversion rates can increase up to 35%.
What is conversion rate?
Expressed as a percentage, conversion rate measures how many site visitors convert into paying guests. It is a mid-funnel metric that allows you to measure site performance, better calculate ROI on marketing campaigns, and even see which channels are most efficient in converting lookers into bookers.
Learn more about other key metrics your business should be tracking.
Below, we’ll explore the different ways that you can streamline your site’s browsing and experience to increase conversions:
1. Optimize Website & Purchase Path for Mobile
Depending on the research, sales completed on mobile devices are now equal to or greater than those completed on desktop, making the performance of your mobile website and e-commerce experience an integral part of your e-commerce strategy. Insider Intelligence, for example, forecasts that U.S. mobile e-commerce will nearly double its share of total retail sales from 15.2% in 2020 to 44.2% in 2025.
Furthermore, Google now indexes your mobile site first and a great mobile experience is one of the many factors that equate to strong SEO.
For ticketed attraction businesses, however, consumers are likely taking a multi-screen approach, searching both via desktop and mobile throughout the purchasing process. Traditional problems with mobile websites are clunky search features, slow loading times, content that doesn’t fit the site, and too many steps during checkout. By working with a design team or plugging into an existing e-commerce platform to make the mobile experience equal to, if not better than desktop, you’ll be sure to convert users on every device.
2. Reduce Form Fields
Overbearing requirements for customer data or obligatory account creation is one of the easiest ways to lose consumers on the purchase journey. It is, of course, smart to collect customer data in order to better plan marketing campaigns and get insight into your potential and actual customer pool – but there is a balance.
The goal is to reduce form fields to ensure that you capture the minimal viable customer data needed to complete the purchase without overburdening potential visitors.
There’s data to back it up. One study found that conversions more than doubled from 5.4% to 11.9% when a business reduced their contact form from 11 to 4 fields. Another study from the University of Wisconsin found extra form fields caused a 52% drop in conversions. The average conversion rate drops from 25% with only 3 fields per form to 15% with 6+ fields per form.
If it’s a user’s first time to your website, then you’ll need multiple layers of information including personal details, card details, address details, and anything else that they see as a personal request. The goal should be to request this information in a straight-forward, streamlined design on a single page. With the rise of one-click check outs today, consumers are looking for the most effective path from their purchase decision to confirmation email. While there are third-party platforms that can help your customers automatically enter their purchase details, a clean design with as few forms as possible is a step above many suppliers’ purchase paths today.
3. A/B Test Upsell Opportunities
There are dozens of upsell opportunities for any purchase completed on your website. It could be fast-track passes, bundled experiences that include lodging or F&B, or even merchandise. Imagine cabana rentals for water parks and equipment rental packages for ski resorts. The key, however, is figuring out which of these opportunities resonate best with your visitors and prompt the highest percentage to commit to an item of a greater value than the one that they were originally considering.
A/B testing refers to when companies test multiple versions of an upsell opportunity to see which performs better with visitors and converts to more sales. The different variables in a test can be presented in multiple formats, such as a pop up, interstitial, widget, or entire web page. A/B testing is a method of determining which design, content, product, or functionality is more successful with your site visitors. A/B testing also allows you to significantly improve your customers’ shopping experience and repeatedly test improvements until you land on the best possible version.
In addition to testing the upsell itself, suppliers can also A/B test images, call-to-action buttons, and the actual copy for the bundle. Other strategies used by retailers prompt consumers to “complete the experience” with an additional purchase or recommend what “other visitors are buying now.”
4. Implement a Dynamic Pricing Strategy
Dynamic pricing is a revenue management strategy used by many types of leisure travel and tourism companies that continuously adjusts prices for admission based on demand, season, day, time of entry, and – most importantly – when customers buy.
When implemented correctly, it improves online sales efficiency and maximizes revenue, all while building consumer confidence and trust. By offering the right price at the right time, customers are more likely to commit to their purchase, maximizing ROI from marketing campaigns as conversion rates rise.
Employing dynamic pricing as part of your e-commerce strategy also encourages customers to commit to earlier ticket purchases and mitigates the risk that they’ll change their minds and skip the experience altogether. On the operational side, selling online in advance means that park and attraction managers can run their operations more effectively by proactively planning based on pre-sale numbers.
5. Provide Preferred Payment Methods
Multiple payment options ensure that every customer can select the simplest, swiftest, and most comfortable path to purchase. It positions suppliers as modern, global, forward-thinking businesses with their customers’ interests at heart – especially when selling a product in multiple countries where different payment methods are expected or preferred.
Credit cards and debit cards are now considered a minimum requirement. Your website should also feature digital e-wallets like PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.
You might consider implementing newer payment options that allow for multiple payment installments, also referred to as ‘Buy Now, Pay Later, or even cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Deciding which to implement is all about your audience. Different generations and demographics of shoppers prefer using different payment methods, particularly in different geographies across the world. By knowing your audience, you can select which of the multiple payment options are best suited to them. Once you’ve implemented multiple payment methods, you should monitor your sales to see which payment options are performing best. Those that are rarely used can be removed for a simpler UX, and possibly, a cost-savings.
Offering multiple payment options increases the conversion rate while lowering abandoned cart rates. Providing a cohesive mix of safe, secure ways to pay will also make your shoppers feel valued as well as protected.
6. Offer a Weather Guarantee or Insurance Products
A weather guarantee is designed to give customers peace of mind when buying tickets to resorts or attractions where the experience can be negatively impacted by unpredictable rainy weather. It encourages consumers to commit to a purchase by ensuring that they’ll be reimbursed 100% for experiences that either can not happen or do not meet expectations due to weather variables.
Catalate partnered with Sensible Weather in 2021 to provide partners with the option to add a “rain guarantee” to their e-commerce experience for a small fee. On Catalate’s e-commerce platform Cloud Store, payouts are initiated automatically, without customer or resort involvement, if it is forecast to rain for 3 hours or more during park hours on the date of a customer’s visit.
A pilot test with Gulf Islands Waterpark proved promising with a 49% attach rate of rain guarantees to eligible orders.
Ready to boost conversion rate and make more money online? Get in touch today.
Catalate is a full-service SaaS solution that offers customized pricing strategies, an e-commerce platform, and opportunities for enhanced distribution. It has processed more than $1 billion in transactions and manages 50 million price points for customers.