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Frank Blackwell, VP Sales

Entertainment Venues Using High Tech Solutions to Keep Up with Customer Expectations

Imagine missing your band’s favorite song at a concert, the unexpected game-changing homerun at the ballgame, or the critical turning point in the movie that everyone will be talking about for days – all because you stepped out to stand in line for popcorn and soda. To avoid this disappointment, when Avengers: Endgame – a three-hour movie – debuted, major news outlets went as far as to publish articles about the best time to pop out without missing too much action. But unless nature calls, why leave the comfort of your seat and risk missing anything at all? To provide superior experiences to their guests, some theaters are beginning to use mobile POS terminals or apps that allow consumers to have concessions delivered straight to their seat, and concert venues and sports stadiums are following suit. After all, a happy customer is more likely to become a repeat customer.

In the last year, over half of Americans attended a live music show, and over three-quarters of the population watched a movie in theaters. But it’s no longer just about the performer or the movie. It’s about the overall experience. This is why the last time you went to the theater, you likely had more options at the concession stand than just popcorn and candy. The most successful venues today are offering full menus, impressive drink options, and on-demand services.

While there’s often a sizeable upfront cost to the implementation of this technology – whether it’s upgrading networks to support greater connectivity for apps or installing POS systems at the seat – it’s one of the greatest investments a venue can make. And, as an added bonus, when venues are able to upgrade their network capabilities to support apps, customers can be reached even when they’re not physically on location. Apps are one of the most effective ways for businesses to target customers by sending notifications with announcements, deals – and in a venue or theater’s case, the latest shows and movie times – straight to their phone, bringing them back time after time.

Customers are more likely to make a purchase

It’s easier for a customer to order a drink at their seat than it is to awkwardly make their way through a row of people, stand in line to get their order and then find their way back to their seat. This was the idea behind the hot dog guy at ballgames – a trend that is quickly becoming obsolete as technology offers ways for attendees to order without getting up. As we know, making the sale is all about meeting the customer where they are. It’s about making the process so convenient that there’s no reason not to buy the product. Moreover, people tend to make more purchases and spend more when they have the option of using a mobile wallet, according to a report by Bain & Co. Whether a venue utilizes an app or an at-the-table terminal, the ability for the customer to immediately transfer money with a few touches of the screen can result in greater revenue for businesses.

Additional offerings have large profit margins

Removing any barriers to making a purchase is especially important for a venue such as a theater or sports center because those are some of the only locations where guests are willing pay increased premiums for food and drinks. With high profit margins, these add-on purchases are some of the greatest sources of revenue for venues.

Implementing these solutions are certainly an investment. However, all of these technologies ultimately ladder up to an improved customer experience and greater revenue for businesses. Therefore, the greatest opportunity for partners in this space lies within network deployments and upgrades and the hardware and connectivity needed to deploy these options. As more and more venues are adding additional POS solutions, tablets, digital signage, apps and network capabilities to gain repeat customers, outdated venues have to follow suit to stay relevant and competitive. To learn more about these opportunities and the solutions ScanSource can help you provide to your customers, contact your representative today.