We often hear from venue operators that increasing sales is always top of mind.
Not a big surprise, right?
But knowing how to increase sales without blowing through your marketing budget is an ongoing challenge. After all, it costs more to acquire guests than to retain existing ones.
So the million-dollar question is, how do I get the guests who are already coming to my venue to spend more and visit more?
Believe it or not, it starts at the checkout through point of sale (POS) marketing, something you’re likely already doing.
What is point of sale marketing?
Point of sale (POS) marketing is in-venue marketing that helps you promote and sell more items to guests at the checkout or ‘point of purchase’.
In the past this might have involved trying to sell a few food and beverage items with just a cash register, but today there are endless opportunities to increase ancillary spending!
With advanced, integrated POS systems, digital signage and new payment methods you can use this marketing technique to really supercharge your sales.
Why point of sale marketing works
The right place at the right time
If you’ve ever been to the supermarket or a big-box chain for one item, and while waiting in line you picked up a chocolate bar, drink, and maybe even a random assortment of ‘must-have’ home furnishings, toys or clothing items, then you’ll know firsthand that point of sale marketing works!
It plays into impulse purchases, unplanned purchases with little thought attached, but can also help target those who are short on time, indecisive or just unaware that certain products or services even existed.
Large chains spend lots of money and resources perfecting their POS marketing and there’s usually a very good reason why certain food and beverage items, together with a seemingly random assortment of clothing, toys and novelty items are placed where they are.
You can take some tips from the big players and think about what items you’re placing near the checkout, how accessible they are to guests and how they are displayed.
Better promotes enhanced experiences
These days you can use point of sale marketing to better promote and sell your core goods and services including membership programs, one-off events and experiences, gift cards and branded merchandise.
Point of sale marketing can also be a great channel for incidental spending that’s needed for, or enhances, participation in an attraction activity.
For example, many trampoline parks require special grip socks before you can jump, while other attractions may rent special equipment such as GoPro cameras that record a guest’s participation and provide an ‘unmissable’ opportunity to relive experiences.
Happy guests will want their experience to last longer
Promoting items to guests while they are having a great experience is a good way to help them create lasting memories.
Who wouldn’t want to relive their summer waterpark experience every weekend with a branded hat or t-shirt? An added benefit is that it also serves as a winning endorsement to others.
For attractions experiences like theme parks or other experience-based activities you might be able to promote and sell professional photos and videos of experiences so guests can keep a permanent reminder that they’re also likely to share with their friends and family.
And happy guests are much more likely to return, so doing everything you can to drive a seamless purchase experience will encourage repeat visitation to your venue and more loyal guests.
7 tried and tested point of sale marketing ideas
1. Offer food and beverage items
Food and beverage is one of the most popular point of sale marketing ideas, and with good reason!
It caters perfectly to many guests’ needs, especially after more physical activities like trampolining or even for parents who are chasing their kids.
Depending on your guest type and venue, you might consider offering things like coffee, sandwiches and cakes or more seasonal items like ice cream.
Have a think about some ways to up-sell or cross-sell items too. Perhaps a ‘Family Deal’ or ‘BOGO’ type of offer would appeal to different guests, offering them value while effectively selling more items per transaction.
2. Support merchandise sales
Let’s face it, we all love a bit of branded merchandise – be it a t-shirt, hat or even a pair of socks.
Branded merchandise also offers guests a way to prove their superfan status and as they wear it they’ll promote your business to others.
So whether you sell clothing, toys or other novelty items keep them easily accessible near the checkout.
3. Upsell and cross-sell tickets, including memberships and add-ons
Often when guests have arrived on-site, they’ll have an even better sense of what they’d like to do based on the sights and sounds or even hearing what other guests are discussing.
So it can be a great time and place to upsell that special wildlife experience or promote that new climbing wall. Demonstrate the value of membership programs and season passes that encourage ongoing visitation and offer great value to families and other groups compared to an initial session pass.
And if your guests are having a great experience then promote the opportunity to share this with their friends and family by purchasing gift cards and vouchers.
4. Team up with local businesses for co-marketing opportunities
Expand your marketing reach and encourage more in-venue sales by looking for co-marketing opportunities with other local businesses.
Start small by partnering with a local food business such as a food truck and promoting a special event. This could also be a great way to help guests stay longer and potentially spend more on other items, especially if your venue only has limited food and beverage facilities.
5. Let guests make purchases with self-service kiosks
Make it easy for guests to purchase tickets on-site and free up your staff to find other ways to enhance the guest experience.
You can also use self-service kiosks to easily upsell add ons, for example, feeding animals at a zoo or wildlife park.
6. Create a sense of urgency with your POS signage
Nobody wants to miss out on a great deal, right? A simple and cost-effective marketing idea is to use signage to promote sales using language that resonates with guests.
Think ‘Last chance,’ ‘Offer ends soon,’ or even promote your membership program with signage that highlights ‘member only pricing.’
7. Offer the latest payment methods
To help sell those products and services onsite as quickly and efficiently as possible, keep up to date with the latest payments your members prefer using.
With many smartphones and smartwatches now payment enabled, mobile and contactless payments can potentially drive more food and beverage sales at venues like water parks where personal items may be stored in lockers.
How will I know if POS marketing is working?
If you’re using a POS system for sales, then the reporting functionality will shed light on how well your POS marketing is working.
By collecting sales data automatically you can quickly pull up accurate reporting that lets you track sales by product type and time period, allowing you to filter results for greater insights.
You can work out how certain F&B promotions are tracking and what your most popular point of sale items might be.
Also, keep an eye on your social media, review sites, and any other guest feedback to see what’s being talked about – this can be an excellent way for some first hand insights into the types of products, services, and certain activities that might have greater success at the checkout.