Oakvale Wildlife Park is a family-owned and operated wildlife park in New South Wales, Australia. They’ve been providing engaging and educational experiences for local and international tourists for over 40 years and are dedicated to helping guests learn about the conservation of native wildlife.
Oakvale faced operational challenges with its previous venue management platforms. After juggling disconnected e-commerce and POS systems, they turned to another attractions software, only to experience further inefficiencies due to slow, limited functionality and a cumbersome online booking process. Elyss Larkham, Business Development Manager at Oakvale, managed the switch to ROLLER. Drawing from her extensive experience in the tourism industry, Elyss understood the necessity for a modern all-in-one system. She notes, "Running two separate systems is a nightmare, especially for the staff at the park entrance. The wildlife park industry needs the ability to sell food, beverage, admissions, and wildlife encounters all in one system," underlining the significance of ROLLER's unified, cloud-based platform.
The wildlife park industry needs the ability to sell food, beverage, admissions, and wildlife encounters all in one system.
Increasing animal encounter sales by 300%
With ROLLER, Oakvale has transformed its approach to selling tickets and animal encounters. In addition to selling standard day passes and family passes, they offer close-up interactions with koalas, lemurs, meerkats, and more. These experiences are limited to two to six people, ensuring guests have an unforgettable experience. Elyss leverages ROLLER’s capacity management and scheduling capabilities to configure these group size limits and the dates and times they’re sold, ensuring the park can maximize sales without worrying about scheduling clashes or double booking.
Elyss recalls the challenges of selling these experiences before using ROLLER – the business couldn’t generate much revenue from animal encounters because they couldn’t sell them online. “We didn’t advertise the encounters as much because it was so manual. You had to call during business hours, and then the booking was recorded in a diary. It was very manual and clunky,” says Elyss.
Now that they use ROLLER’s industry-leading online booking system, sales have skyrocketed. “Going from the previous reservations system to ROLLER, our wildlife encounters were up 300% in the first six months,” comments Elyss. Not only are sales up, but they’ve been able to invest in and expand their experiences. They’ve doubled the number of encounters to eight different experiences, which provides a broader range of memorable experiences for guests and expands revenue potential. “We previously only ran three to four encounters. Because we have the ability to sell online, we’ve been growing our encounters offering,” says Elyss.
Our wildlife encounters were up 300% in the first six months.
Maximizing food, beverage, and retail revenue
Beyond ticket sales, ROLLER helps Oakvale maximize other sources of revenue. The park’s admissions area also includes a cafe, so they make the most of ROLLER’s flexible POS technology, allowing them to sell tickets, food, and drinks from the same POS device. With an intuitive design and quick reference images for each product, new staff can learn the system quickly and process sales for guests quicker than ever. Guests can choose from various hot and cold food and beverage options, like burgers, fresh salads, coffees, and milkshakes. Oakvale also sells retail items through its gift shop, so guests have a memento from their visit.
These additional items supplement their admissions revenue and significantly increase average spend per head. Elyss notes instances where families spend more on souvenirs and refreshments than the admission cost – “I’ve had families come in and spend $87 for admission, and then another $150 between food and souvenirs,” she says. That’s a 172% increase in booking revenue!
I’ve had families come in and spend $87 for admission, and then another $150 between food and souvenirs.
Managing seasonal demand
Oakvale's admissions numbers shift with seasonal fluctuations, with school holidays drawing large crowds and mid-week periods or rainy days experiencing lower footfall. ROLLER's flexible product configuration options enable Oakvale to sell different products and packages at different times of the year to drive sales year-round. For example, they develop special offers to push off-peak online sales. “During our quieter months, we create packages and specials with ease in ROLLER. This year, we had free park admission with every encounter purchased midweek,” notes Elyss.
Oakvale also focuses on upselling at venue entry to increase revenue during quieter periods. “With the ease and layout of ROLLER’s POS system, our staff can upsell to our customers upon entry with animal encounters, food, beverages, and souvenirs,” says Elyss.
Looking ahead, Oakvale Wildlife Park and ROLLER will continue partnering to deliver exceptional guest experiences and drive growth in the wildlife park industry. Elyss applauds ROLLER’s ongoing product improvement and will continue to share her feedback to help shape the future of the platform.
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